- Access to drinking water is threatened in the short term in 23 municipalities in the Pyrénées-Orientales by the effects of drought.
- Eleven of them have activated their contingency plan and are getting their supplies from a second source, the first being dry.
- Wastewater recycling, including the reuse of wastewater treatment plants for crop irrigation, is being studied.
Meeting at the prefecture of Pyrénées-Orientales, in Perpignan, the drought crisis management unit has placed three additional municipalities on alert. There are therefore 23 municipalities whose access to drinking water is now threatened in the short term by the effects of drought. Among them are mostly villages, but also some towns. According to information from France Bleu Roussillon, a seaside resort, whose number of inhabitants is more than tenfold during the summer, would be one of these cities placed on alert.
The prefect, Rodrigue Furcy, did not wish to communicate the names of the communities concerned "in order to avoid any stigmatization". Among these twenty-three municipalities, the situation is particularly worrying for 11 of them who have activated their emergency plan: their main source of catchment is dry, and it is on a source of relief that these municipalities now supply. For one of them, the risk of shutdown "seems more pronounced in the short term".
Water recycling from wastewater treatment plants under study
From 14 to 29 April, four communes in the lower Conflent - Bouleternère, Corbère, Corbère-les-Cabanes and Saint-Michel-de-Llotes - were deprived of drinking water when the level of the main borehole had fallen to its lowest. It was necessary to know the results of the tests on a second source, usually used for agricultural purposes, so that the inhabitants could again consume tap water.
In order to limit the risk of shortages, the department, whose elected officials have visited Catalonia several times to study the recycling of wastewater in particular, is studying the possibility of reusing water from treatment plants. These would be mainly used for crop irrigation, in order to minimize conflicts between water users.