Seeking answers to a summer of extremes


France is grappling with the consequences of a series of successive heatwaves this summer, aggravated by record drought conditions which began in winter, leading to massive wildfires, a fall in energy production, and tumbling crop yields. While weather predictions suggest this autumn will see notably violent storms, these are expected to have little effect on the refilling of phreatic zones. Mediapart turned to French hydrologist Emma Haziza to explore what must change to ensure the future supply and protection of water.

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France, like many other countries in Europe this summer, has been hit by a succession of extreme heatwaves in which temperatures across the country, from south to north, have reached in excess of 40° Celsius.