Crisis in France: Cities run out of drinking water.


The French government has set up a crisis team to deal with a historic drought that has left more than 100 municipalities without drinking water, the BBC reports.


Trucks bring water to these areas, because "there is nothing left in the pipelines", declared the minister for ecological transition, Christophe Béchu.


The prime minister's office said it was the worst drought on record in France. Water use is restricted in 93 regions.


Drought conditions are expected to continue for at least the next two weeks.


The state energy company EDF was forced to reduce production at some nuclear power plants because the river temperatures are too high to ensure sufficient cooling, AFP news agency reports, according to BBC.


There are fears that the drought - affecting almost all of mainland France - will reduce crop yields, exacerbating the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.


Europeans are already struggling with higher food prices as grain exports from Russia and Ukraine - among the world's top producers - are much lower than normal.


The corn harvest, used mainly for animal feed, is expected to be 18.5 percent lower this year than in 2021, the agriculture ministry said. The main maize growing areas are Alsace, in the eastern and western regions, and the harvest is already underway.


Maize exports from France, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria are expected to be lower this year due to the heat wave, and these lower volumes will push up prices, French broadcaster BFMTV reported.


Livestock farmers in the Alps are forced to drive trucks down into the valleys every day to collect water for their animals, which adds several hundred euros to their weekly fuel bills, TV station TF1 reported.

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