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Ireland and France are Drying Up

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted June 9, 2011

The summer is getting hot.

Temperatures in Baltimore reached 103° today.

And in Europe, it is dry.

As in ‘drought’ dry.  Ireland and France are reporting one of the driest springs in a long time.

The Dublin City Council in Ireland is warning residents of Dublin, Kildare, and Wicklow to start conserving water now.

The lack of rainfall in March and April reportedly left the ground so dry that it was difficult to store waters even from the heavier rains in May.

And of course there is no respite; June is bringing back the dry.

The Council announced to residents that it currently has about 120 days of water in reservoirs compared to the average 150 days that is stored.

Right now, it’s not enough to put bans or cut-offs in place, but if residents don’t start conserving now they could be on the horizon.

The City Council has the power to impose restrictions on the use of hose water for things like lawn watering and car washing with a $181 fine, though it hasn’t had to do this since 1997.

Other counties are experiencing similar problems; Galway and Wexford are monitoring the water, though Cork and Waterford claim their levels are “adequate” for now.

The low river levels in France are causing a slightly different problem.

France uses a large portion of its river waters for producing hydroelectric power and to cool its inland nuclear reactors.

Too much of a dip in water levels could be pretty problematic for power this summer.

Electricite de France, the company that controls all 58 of the country’s nuclear reactors, assures that it isn’t a danger – the reactors can be shut down before they heat up too much.

But EDF would prefer not to do this, as it would cause major power outages.

Restrictions have already been implemented on water usage to help avoid this problem, but the Agriculture Ministry told Bloomberg that France had experienced one of the driest Aprils since 1953.

In the meantime, 14 of the reactors will receive maintenance to keep them at the optimum operating capacity.

And for the sake of all of this, Europeans are hoping for some rain to come their way.

That’s all for now,


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