Drought in France ends. At least for now

After a record dry spell of 31 days without significant rainfall, France finally saw some rainfall again this week. But concerns remain over water reserves. Not only in France, but also in other South European countries like Spain. Where they imposed water restrictions, unheard of in winter time.

According to weather service Meteo France, less than one millimeter of rainfall has been seen since January 21. Which meant the absence of precipitation equals the record set in spring 2020.

Normally, winter is a crucial period for recharging groundwater levels with rainfall. Especially after the dry summer, during which many car washes throughout France had to close or restrict business hours because of shortages.

Europe endured its second-hottest year ever in 2022, with France, Britain, Spain and Italy setting new average temperature records. The heat was accompanied by severe drought, unprecedented in centuries, across the region.


Many car wash owners in the southern part of Europe are a bit concerned about the upcoming months. In Spain, one of the European countries most exposed to the risk of drought, water reserves are currently at an average 50.7 percent of capacity. Over the last 10 years the average has been 60.8 percent, learns the latest national hydrological bulletin.

Even wintertime Barcelona and big parts of Catalonia in the Northeast have imposed water restrictions due to the lack of rain.
It is for example not allowed to use drinking water to wash the exterior of houses or cars. As far as we could check, these measures do not apply to car washes. Since they mostly recycle used water. But the government warns about tighter restrictions in March and April, when the lack of rain continues. This could mean there are dark times ahead for the car wash business in Catalunya.

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Author: Rene Passet

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