Another drought! Prefecture decree ceasing unnecessary use of water in the Vendée

Summer 2019 appears to be a repeat of summer 2018 in the Vendee and across France. In fact after last year's drought, nature hasn't adequately recovered.

While Thursday evening a few hours of rain was enough to cool us down and make the air crisp again, it was the first rain we saw in weeks and with another heatwave on the horizon, the department has issued a decree to cease all unnecessary use of water!

AS OF MIDNIGHT 19/07/2019 GOING INTO EFFECT ON 20/07/2019.

Crise : Arrêt des prélèvements non-prioritaires y compris des prélèvements à des fins agricoles. Seuls les prélèvements permettant d'assurer l'exercice des usages prioritaires sont autorisés (santé, sécurité
civile, eau potable, salubrité)

Crisis: Stop non-priority sampling including sampling at agricultural purposes. Only the samples to ensure the exercise of uses are authorized (health, safety, security, etc. civil, drinking water, sanitation)

Drought or not, the birds and the bees need our help!

Honey bees use water to make honey and to cool the hive. Some tips to help our friends through this crisis!

  • a shallow plate with water for the bees
  • keep the birdbath topped off for the birds
  • add a few rocks or float leaves and corks in the birdbath to help the bees reach the water safely (or they'll drown)
  • place a “bee board” underneath a slowly dripping faucet, leaning it at an angle
  • if you keep a water bowl for the dogs, lizards will also go and drink from it. Add a large rock for them to perch on.

Water conservation tips!

Year-round, but especially in a drought it is our civic duty to conserve water!
  • Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit and vegetables. Use the waste water in the garden
  • Brush your teeth with the tap water OFF. Use a cup to rinse rather than letting the tap run.
  • Fill a bottle with water and drop it into the toilet tank
  • Use washing machine or dishwasher only with a full load. If your devices are ancient, look into purchasing new with great energy savings! It will make a huge difference over time!
  • Take a shower instead of a bath. Set a timer to five-minutes.
  • Install a rainwater collection system (e.g. a barrel to collect from gutters, or a well)
  • In the garden, use a watering can instead of a sprinkler or hosepipe
  • In the veg garden, it helps to have raised beds, topped with a layer of newspapers, and about 30cm of mulch.
  • Check for leaks on your home plumbing
  • Report any leaks in the neighbourhood at the local mairie