Doing the dishes, starting a washing machine, taking a shower… Daily gestures that could be called into question by the drought, as the water becomes blue gold. Extreme heat, lack of rain this winter, dry groundwater and pressure linked to demand are leading to the drinking water networks being put under pressure.
In France, some territories have even gone to an extreme level: shortage. “More than a hundred municipalities no longer have drinking water today,” said the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, on Friday, who described the situation as “historic”. Refueling is now done by tank truck or distribution of bottled water.
“The situation is problematic but not hopeless”
In Brittany, for the moment, the drinking water supply is still holding up. In Quimper, “we have not yet needed to tap into the Kerrous reserve”, reassures Philippe Jouan, head of the community’s water and aquatic environments department. Even if the flow of the Steïr, which serves as a water intake for the city, is 638 liters per second, whereas the average of the last 50 years was 1,142. problematic but not hopeless. »
A reassuring finding also 110 km to the east, in the Côtes-d’Armor, in the territory of Guingamp-Paimpol Agglomeration. “Our factories are running normally,” says Rémy Guillou, vice-president in charge of water. “And, via the departmental interconnection system of distribution systems, we have a reserve. We can see it coming. »
But “drops in production on the reserves observed”
But if we can still find water in Brittany by opening the tap, we must remember that the situation remains very fragile in places. In Douarnenez (29), the Névez has never been so low since 2011. “We are at 130 liters per second against 200 a year ago”, deplores Anne-Laure Le Gourrierec, Water and Sanitation Director of the community of municipalities.
And in Morbigan, the flow of the Scorff, the main river, fell below 0.5 m3/s. Limit below which it is normally no longer necessary to pump to produce drinking water. “There are no stock problems at our three dams, but we are also starting to see production drops on underground reserves”, adds Yann Cauet, president of Sdaep 22. “You really have to be thrifty. »
To cope, a seawater desalination unit commissioned
All the players are moving in the same direction: everything is done to avoid supply disruption. On the island of Groix (56), whose reserves from the Port Melin dam would not have made it possible to supply the town with drinking water beyond the month of August, the start-up on Wednesday of the seawater desalination unit will allow thinning.
And in Nord-Finistère, the Pont-ar-Bled plant, in Plouédern, increased production capacity by taking a volume from Elorn, to offset the virtual shutdown of two production units (Kerléguer and Moulin Blanc) and the remaining 15 days of autonomy of the Kermorvan? unit. A rise in power made possible thanks to the low water level support of the Drennec dam. Which keeps, to date, a stock of about four months. The plant even shows solidarity by serving the country of Iroise, Abers and Lesneven Côte-des-Légendes, the current level of the Aber Wrach no longer allowing the Kernilis plant to be supplied.
Heavy rain expected by September
But the mobilization of professionals alone will not be enough to save Brittany’s water. The population must also take part in it. However, in the south of Pays bigouden (29), the calls to save the rare commodity have not, for the moment, made it possible to lower the level of consumption. “Our Moulin Neuf reserve is decreasing. The flow of the two streams that feed the reservoir is very low. We are starting to be alarmed,” says Stéphane Le Doaré, president of “com com”. In Saint-Malo (35), faced with increasing tourist numbers, we also see that water consumption has increased. Result: the volume of water from the dams fell below the crisis curve.
The number and intensity of the next rainfall events will tell how long this crisis situation will last. Because, if it does not rain enough, “the water will be consumed by the plants and the reserves will not be supplied”, fears Bernard Le Breton, president of Pontivy community and vice-president of Eau du Morbihan. The department is still three weeks ahead of the reserves.
In the region of Châteaulin (29), we also scrutinize unpredictable events. “As long as there is water in Lake Brennilis, there will be no shortage of it. But we do not control either evaporation or fires, ”recalls Gaël Calvar, president of Epaga. Because, to put out the blaze in the Arrée mountains, the firefighters had been forced to draw water from the lake.
letelegramme Fr Trans