What happens if you break French water restriction rules by accident?

France is facing drought problems after a series of heat waves and forest fires this summer led to the introduction of water restrictions in many departments and communes.

These restrictions may include measures aimed at larger operations, such as limits on use in factories or farms, or may target individuals with limits on watering gardens or washing cars, for example.

Monday July 25, 93 of the 96 French departments were under a certain level of drought alert.

Our article here, updated daily, gives a general idea of ​​where drought restrictions are in place in France: Drought map update: See French departments with water restrictions.

You can also see a more detailed breakdown of the government’s Propluvia drought alert website here.

Read more: How to check water restrictions in your area of ​​France

In municipalities where restrictions are in place, information should be shared with residents in the form of leaflets, letters, public posters, text messages or online communication.

There are four stages of drought alert in France and from the first stage, Code 1, this sharing of information is a basic measure.

But what if for some reason you don’t get the message and decide to wash your car while a ban is in place?

Breaking water restriction laws by accident

Firstly, if you are caught breaking water restriction laws, you could be fined €1,500, up to €3,000 for a repeat offence.

However, it is very unlikely that you will receive this fine as an individual, as checks and checks are more focused on businesses or farms.

The State service responsible for ensuring compliance with water restriction rules is the Departmental Directorate of Territories and the Sea (DDTM).

Pascal Jobert, head of the Alpes-Maritimes DDTM, said he stepped up checks last month after a period of information sharing.

He told the local newspaper beautiful morning that 25 checks were carried out, five of which gave rise to a report for administrative shortcomings and 12 other cases of irregularities were observed. None resulted in a fine.

These types of checks are generally not aimed at individuals and town halls have the right to introduce stricter or more precise rules in their municipality, including measures targeting residents.

Local police, park wardens or other environmental services active in a certain municipality may be ordered to watch for people who break water restriction rules.

In most cases, if you’re caught breaking a rule and it’s a real mistake, you’ll likely be told the rules and told not to do it again.

Nadine Decarlis, mayor of Bargemon (Var), told Nice Matin that checks on individuals were not systematic and that the authorities would not “always watch over people”.

She said situations would be handled on a case-by-case basis and she would rather let people know the need for the rules than fine them for breaking them.

If you repeatedly break the rules after being warned, you are much more likely to be fined.

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