Hérault: A large part of the department placed on drought alert

Drought In the middle of autumn, the situation is worrying in the Hérault. In Aude, on the other hand, the restrictions have been lifted -en-alert-drought-174d54e.jpg” alt=”Hérault: A large part of the department placed on drought alert” />

The department of Hérault is facing historic restrictive measures (illustration). — Jérôme Diesnis/Agence Maxele Presse

  • Most of the Hérault is placed on alert, and even on heightened alert for the downstream side of the Aude.
  • Alone the east of the department, and in particular the Montpellier region, is not subject to restrictions.
  • They have also been lifted in the Aude, after five months of drought. But stocks there are abnormally low.

This is an exceptional situation. In the heart of autumn, at a period when the rains usually make it possible to reconstitute part of the stocks, the hydraulic situation in the department of Hérault is considered worrying. “In view of the committee’s proposals; departmental monitoring of water resources which integrate forecasts over the weeks to come, the prefect of the Hérault has decided to to place a large part of the departmental territory on alert,” explains the representative of the State. It’s even worse in the south-west of the department since the downstream Aude watershed has been placed on heightened alert.

“Weak autumn rains have led to an overall water deficit, particularly in the west of the department where; the recharge of the rivers remains largely insufficient, evokes the prefecture. The challenge of the winter period now focuses on replenishing groundwater.” Only the region of Montpellier, at eastern Hérault, is not subject to any restrictions.

Rainfall deficit of almost 50% in Aude

Conversely, the Aude prefecture has lifted all the restrictive measures put in place since the beginning of July. Over the past five months, twelve water restriction orders have been issued. issued. The drought episode was characterized by in particular by a rainfall deficit of almost 50%, associated with to very high temperatures, around 3°C above normal seasonal temperatures from June to June. october. For twenty-seven days, the temperature will thus have exceeded 35°C during the day.

These meteorological conditions led to record dryness in the soil during the summer period, requiring significant use of water resources. Despite rainfall in the range of 30 to 30 60mm fell in November, the situation remains very tense. “This drought has led to a significant drop in groundwater levels, with an unfavorable situation for more than half; resources and a generalized tendency still to ” winter to replenish stocks and guarantee water use next year. “Significant groundwater recharge is needed to replenish reserves and avoid water supply disruptions. Over the past few months, the dams have generally all been closed. very strongly mobilized. At the end of the year, their levels are particularly low.”

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