The French Government is targeting a 10% water consumption reduction by 2030. According to the government, drastic action is inevitable, as scientific studies predict that the average flow of rivers in metropolitan France will be 10 to 40% less than at present.
Last year, France experienced record-breaking heat and drought. This was followed by a very dry winter during which a period of 32 days without rain was recorded, making the 2022/2023 winter one of the 10 least rainy winters since 1959.
In order to prevent this from happening again, the French Government has drafted its Action plan for resilient and concerted water management. The objective is to reduce water consumption by 10% by 2030.
According to the government, water consumption in France is currently 148 litres per capita. In the Netherlands, this stands at 128 litres.
Between 2010 and 2019, on average, 32.8 billion m3 fresh water was consumed, of which 9% was used for agricultural use and 16% for the production of drinking water. Figures from 2019 show that only 43% of surface water is in good ecological condition.
The plan has three pillars:
- Reduce consumption
- Optimize availability
- Preserve water quality
Some 53 action plans have been identified that require all stakeholders to actively participate in meeting the target. Engineering will be strengthened and additional funds will be allocated, while research and innovation efforts will be stimulated to acquire more accurate data and more adapted technologies. An additional EUR 475 million will be allocated to water agencies per annum and the ceiling on their expenses will be removed.
This coming summer, a tool will be deployed that will allow everyone to familiarize themselves with the restrictions applied according to their geolocation and user category.
With hockey being one of the biggest water-dependent sports in terms of surfaces, organisers of the 2024 Paris Olympics, as well as the international hockey governing body FIH, had the ambition to introduce a synthetic turf surface in Paris that would deliver the same characteristics as a watered surface, but would not require any water. Such a surface is in line with the goals the FIH announced in 2018 to make the sport less dependant on a precious resource – water. However, due to the limitations experienced during the COVID pandemic, the deadline for introducing such a surface has been moved forward to 2028, when Los Angeles will be hosting the Summer Olympics.