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Facing drought risk, France's Macron announces water conservation plan

Facing drought risk, France's Macron announces water conservation plan
Plan aims to reduce water consumption by 10% by 2030 in all sectors, says French president

By Nur Asena Erturk

ANKARA (AA) – France’s president on Thursday announced a water conservation plan to tackle the threat of drought as a warmer spring points towards a long summer.

Every region of France will adopt measures to better share water resources, Emmanuel Macron told a news conference in southeastern France, adding that an app similar to the energy "eco-watt" application used over the winter will help with this.

The plan will be implemented in every sector, including energy, tourism, industry, and agriculture, Macron added, warning of "grave distress situations next summer" in some towns, with €180 million ($196.3 million) allocated to prioritizing them.

"Apart from the urgency for this summer, this is a long-term conservation and efficiency plan," he said. "The aim is to reduce water consumption by 10% by 2030 in all sectors."

Calling water a public good, Macron announced a progressive pricing policy. "Beyond a certain level (of consumption), the price of each cubic meter will be higher, to encourage conservation," he explained.

The president also announced an investment program to adapt nuclear plants to climate change, stressing that those plants represent 12% of the water consumed in France.

Macron noted that the country currently reuses only 1% of water – a rate that he wants to boost to 10% by 2030.

"We’ve decided to launch 1,000 projects in five years to recycle and reuse water," he said. "We want to reuse 300 millions of cubic meters of water."

- France on alert over drought risk

France is in a "state of alert" over drought risk this summer, Ecological Transition Minister Christophe Bechu said last week, and weather authority Meteo France pointed out that the country saw a historically severe drought this winter, with no precipitation for 32 days since Jan. 21.

"This causes soil to dry up, which was already weakened by the drought in summer 2022," it said in a statement.

The geological and mining authority also said groundwater levels were below the monthly normal as of March 1 due to the lack of precipitation in February.

source: News Feed
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