France is bracing itself for another heatwave this summer. Dry villages were left without water after the country suffered its worst drought in history. Farmers raised concerns about a shortage of milk in the winter.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne established a crisis team in response to the drought that has forced many villages to depend on water delivery trucks. The state-run utility EDF has been forced to decrease nuclear power output and stress crop yields by this.
Temperatures were expected to rise to 37 Celsius in the southwest on Sunday (7 August) before the baking heat moves north.
La Chaine Meteo stated that “this new heatwave was likely” and was comparable to The Weather Channel from the US.
Meteo France (the national weather agency) stated that this was the worst drought ever recorded. The agency also stated that the drought would last until the middle next month. France received less than 1cm of rain on average during July.
The ministry of agriculture predicts that the 2021 corn harvest will be 18.5% lower than 2021. This is due to higher European food prices as a result of lower-than-normal imports from Russia and Ukraine.
According to the National Federation for Farmers’ Unions, the drought could cause a shortage of fodder, which could result in a shortage of milk in the months ahead.
EDF, a nuclear operator has cut its power output at a plant in southwest France last Wednesday due to high temperatures along the Garonne. It also issued rolling warnings for reactors along the Rhone.
The utility’s problems have been exacerbated by hot weather. As Europe faces an energy crisis, corrosion problems and extended maintenance at half of its 56 reactors has reduced their capacity.
Water restrictions are in place in nearly every region of France to conserve water. This includes irrigation bans and hosepipe bans.
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