Groundwater: these departments which still lack water

With the recent bad weather in March, the French water tables have been full of water.

Groundwater: these departments which still lack water

With the recent bad weather in March, the French water tables have been full of water. But for some, the level remains abnormally low.

According to the latest report from the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM), 58% of French water tables have returned to a level above normal. A proportion deemed “satisfactory” as the recharge period enters its final moments. The precipitation in autumn and winter has generally recharged the groundwater tables with water, but in the departments of Aude, Loire, Pyrénées-Orientales and Haute-Corse, the Drought Info site notes a level still particularly low, which could lead the population to undergo new restrictions next summer.

The departments of southern Corsica, Cantal, Hérault, Jura, Puy-de-Dôme, Manche and Yvelines are also in an unfavorable situation due to the relatively low level of their water tables . Barring a particular rainfall event, current levels should stabilize in each department, which is obviously not a good sign for places where groundwater is not sufficiently recharged.

Compared to the previous BRGM survey, the level of water tables is still rising in most of the country except in Roussillon which continues to experience a rainfall deficit. The month of March allowed certain departments to catch up with the level of their water tables, this is particularly the case in the south-east of France and the departments of the Massif Central. The aquifers in southern Alsace are also struggling to return to an average level.

Even if the levels are increasing over the same period compared to last year, we will not have to relax. The deficit accumulated since 2022 will likely not be made up this year. Météo France forecasts rising temperatures throughout the country for the months of April, May and June, but "no scenario emerges regarding precipitation" reports the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research. Low pressure passages are still to be expected in April but their positive impact on water tables will be less than in recent months, due to the resumption of vegetation.

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