Nice: The Drought Continues, the Alpes-Maritimes in “Crisis”

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Drought crisis in the Alpes-Maritime

WEATHER: The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has set the weather alert to its maximum …

  • Watering crops, irrigation of golf or car washing is prohibited.

  • Between 30 and 40 mm of rain from Saturday to Monday.

Fields yellowed river at the lowest … The alert drought reached Monday its maximum level within the Alpes-Maritimes . “Les bassins de la Roya  [above Menton, east of the department] and du Loup [which flows near the racetrack of Cagnes-sur-Mer] are in crisis since Monday and signature a new order “, said the secretary general of the prefecture Frédéric MacKain.

The Var river is on his side past “reinforced alert” and rivers Artuby, Brague, the Cagne, Estéron and Paillon are held in “alert”. Only the Siagne, above Cannes, seems untouched, affected by a single “vigilance”.

The driest October since records began

But “it is the entire department is facing a major drought episode,” confirmed the center manager of Météo-France to  Nice.

“This October was the driest recorded in the Alpes-Maritimes since we do surveys with less than a millimeter of rainfall. Since the beginning of the year, we rainfall deficit of 40 to 55% depending on the month, “sums up Marie-France Delansorne.

Watering golf courses and washing cars banned

“This order is accompanied by a number of restrictions on the use of water,” said Serge Castel, the departmental director of the Territories and the Sea. In both basins in ‘crisis’, it is especially forbidden watering crops except vegetable gardens only at night. Irrigation of golf courses or washing cars are banned.

And DDTM prevent “Alert levels could be revised again, and unfortunately not down, in the coming days. “Météo-France provides a good rain event this weekend, from 30 to 40mm between Saturday and Monday,” but that is not enough to change the nature of the soil, “worries Serge Castel.

The fear of a deluge of “waterproof” soil

For these fully dried soils are also hovering very high risk of flooding in the event of sudden and stormy rainfall. “We first have to be moderate and continuous rainfall for that land no longer waterproof as they are now,” suggests the secretary general of the prefecture.

The phenomenon has “concerned” authorities anyway. Especially after the October 2015 flood that had killed 20 people on the French Riviera and caused hundreds of millions of euros of damage throughout the department.

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