Ophelie Artaud 8:46 a.m., August 13, 2022

While a historic drought is currently affecting France, the risk of a shortage of drinking water is on everyone's mind.

But some solutions could avoid this, in particular the recycling of wastewater.

Marie Pettenati, hydrogeologist at the Geological and Mining Research Office, returned to this possibility at the microphone of Europe 1.

France is facing a historic drought, with more than a hundred towns without drinking water, dry rivers and repeated fires.

The recycling of wastewater that has been treated can be a solution to save water.

Marie Pettenati, hydrogeologist at the Geological and Mining Research Office, was Sophie Tusseau's guest this Saturday morning and brought her view of the subject to the microphone of Europe 1.

Only 1% of treated water reused

"Treating water means treating water that comes from the city, our drinking water that ends up in the networks and requires treatment after use. It is treated with engineering processes in our treatment plants and is discharged then in the natural environment", first explains the specialist.

A mandatory wastewater treatment technique in France, which allows part of it to be reused.

"The volume of water reused in France is quite low, it represents about 8 million cubic meters, which is very little compared to our treated water which represents 8 billion cubic meters per year. It is a method that should be used much more in the current water", recognizes Marie Pettenati.

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Only 1% of treated water is therefore reused, "we must accelerate this movement to have alternatives to drinking water resources", insists the hydrogeologist.

This water could also be reinjected into the groundwater, "but it would be necessary to adapt the treatments, to pay attention to pathogens for health, to organic pollutants... We must therefore be very vigilant about the quality of this water even if this is done already in California,” she explains.