Groundwater reserves: anticipating a dry summer

Conditions all point to a severe drought this summer in France, where groundwater reserves are showing a substantial deficit throughout the country.
9 July 2019
Spring water

Spring water

© Adobestock - mirkograul 

Could 2019 see a drought as severe as in 2018, when groundwater tables dropped to levels not seen since the drought of 1976?  

Weather forecasters are predicting above-normal temperatures across mainland France and Europe from June to September, as illustrated by the recent heatwave. Rainfall over the winter was by no means abundant, especially from the south-west to the north-east and from Normandy to the Calais region. 

Overall effective precipitation from September to December 2018 - meaning precipitation that effectively contributes to the recharge of aquifers, which are the natural groundwater reserves found in the subsoil - essentially shows a deficit in the regions mentioned above, ranging from 25 to 50% and even 75% locally, except around the Mediterranean and Upper Corsica where measurements show a 50% surplus over the same period compared to the inter-annual norm for effective precipitation (1981-2010 baseline period).