Most of the Hérault is placed on alert, and even on heightened alert for the downstream side of the Aude.
Only the east of the department, and in particular the Montpellier region, is not subject to restrictions.
They were also lifted in the Aude, after five months of drought.
But stocks there are abnormally low.
It is an exceptional situation.
In the middle of autumn, at a time 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 proposals of the departmental committee for monitoring water resources which include forecasts for the coming weeks, the prefect of Hérault has decided to place a large part of the departmental territory on alert", explains the representative of the department. 'State.
It is even worse in the south-west of the department since the downstream Aude watershed has been placed on heightened alert.
“The low fall 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 the reconstitution of groundwater.
Only the Montpellier region, east of Hérault, is not subject to any restrictions.
Rainfall deficit of nearly 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.
The drought episode was characterized in particular by a rainfall deficit of almost 50%, associated with very high temperatures, around 3°C higher than seasonal norms from June to 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 the rainfall of around 30 to 60 mm that 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 of the resources and a generalized trend still downwards", specifies the prefecture.
Precipitation expected this winter
Precipitation is expected during the winter to replenish stocks and guarantee water uses 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 very heavily mobilized.
At the end of the year, their levels are particularly low.
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