France is going through worst drought ever, says prime minister

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PARIS (TSWT) – French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne warned France is facing the “worst drought” on record in the country and announced the activation of a government crisis unit.

Borne said in a written statement on Friday that many areas in France are experiencing a “historic situation” as the country faces its third heat wave this summer.

“The exceptional drought we are currently experiencing is robbing many municipalities of water and is a tragedy for our farmers, our ecosystems and biodiversity,” the statement said.

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Weather forecasts suggest that heat, which increases evaporation and water needs, could persist for the next 15 days, potentially making the situation even more worrisome, the statement points out.

The government’s crisis unit will monitor the situation in the worst affected areas and coordinate measures such as bringing drinking water to some places.

It will also monitor the impact of the drought on French energy production, transport infrastructure and agriculture.

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The drought could force French energy giant EDF to shut down electricity production at nuclear plants, which use river water to cool reactors.

France now has 62 regions with restrictions on water use due to the lack of rain.

The minister for ecological transition, Christophe Béchu, said during a visit to southeastern France that more than 100 municipalities can no longer supply drinking water at the tap and must be supplied by truck.

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“The worse the situation is, the more we prioritize drinking water compared to other uses,” he said.

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