France in its most severe drought ever: PM

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French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has warned France is facing the "most severe drought" ever recorded in the country and announced the activation of a government crisis unit.

Borne said in a written statement on Friday many areas in France are going through a "historic situation" as the country endures its third heatwave of the northern summer.

"The exceptional drought we are currently experiencing is depriving many municipalities of water and is a tragedy for our farmers, our ecosystems and biodiversity," the statement said.

Weather forecasts suggest the heat, which increases evaporation and water needs, could continue for the next 15 days, possibly making the situation even more worrying, the statement said.

The government's crisis unit will be in charge of monitoring the situation in the hardest-hit areas and will co-ordinate measures such as bringing drinking water to places in need.

It will also monitor the impact of the drought on France's energy production, transport infrastructure and agriculture.

The drought may force French energy giant EDF to cut power production at nuclear plants which use river water to cool reactors.

France now has 62 regions with restrictions on water usage due to the lack of rain.

The minister for ecological transition, Christophe Bechu, said during a visit to southeastern France that more than 100 municipalities are not able to provide drinking water to the tap any more and need to get supplied by truck.

"The worse the situation is, the more we make drinking water the priority compared to other usages," he said.

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