Map of water table levels in France on 1 March 2020.
After a low-water period in 2019 that lasted longer than average across the whole country, the recharge began earlier than usual, in October, and was observed across all water tables in November. Effective rainfall was particularly heavy during the autumn and early winter and helped the water tables to rise significantly. The situation is positive for almost all water tables.
In the northern half of the country, the water tables are continuing to recharge and the situation is improving; levels are now around average to high. In the south, trends are uneven, due to a lack of rainfall in January and February. The situation has therefore deteriorated but remains satisfactory, with levels around average to high. The only exceptions are the alluvial aquifers of the Adour and Gave du Pau rivers, whose levels are below the monthly average. Finally, the situation is less positive as regards the water tables in the Rhône valley and in the eastern Massif Central. They are still suffering from a lack of rainfall over the last few years, even though the beneficial effect of the recharge is still noticeable.
Overall, the situation should continue to improve slowly in the coming weeks. The overall state of the water-table recharge suggests we can expect satisfactory levels for all the aquifers at the end of the winter, unless the lack of rainfall continues in the south.