Heat wave in southern Europe
Because of the ongoing drought: village in southern France bans brushing teeth with tap water

Woman holding a toothbrush under a running faucet

A village in southern France has banned residents from brushing their teeth due to the heatwave

© Christin Klose / Picture Alliance

It is the earliest heat wave since weather records began to hit France and other countries in southern Europe. Because a water source is threatening to dry up, a village near Nice has now banned residents from brushing their teeth.

A historical one has been plaguing us for weeks heat wave the countries in southern Europe. In Spain there were devastating forest fires, in Italy there were fears for the harvest and in southern France a water source threatened to dry up completely. The affected village of Villars-sur-Var in the north of Nice has therefore resorted to drastic measures: brushing your teeth and drinking from the tap are currently prohibited, as the municipality announced on Tuesday.

The water from the tap should not be used for cooking, it said. For the time being, each resident will receive two bottles of drinking water per day from the town hall. From the source that supplies the 760-inhabitant town with drinking water, because drought not enough water.

Earliest heat wave since weather records began

The responsible utility company has already found a new tapping point, but the investigation of the water quality is not yet complete. At the end of May, the prefecture of Alpes-Maritimes had already rationed the water. Washing cars, filling private pools and watering lawns are all in the department that Nice and includes the Côte d’Azur, since banned.

The heat wave that swept through France last week has now abated. It was the earliest hot spell on record. It has exacerbated the drought that has persisted in some parts of the country since the winter and spring were dry.

Italy is also struggling with water shortages

In Italy the water supply also becomes problematic. The country’s longest river, the Po, currently carries very little water and has even reached historic lows in some places. A huge problem for agriculture, which depends on the water from the river. Plans to take water from Lake Garda instead have failed. The community association opposed the proposal.

Secretary General Pierlucio Ceresa spoke of “double damage” because the lake in northern Italy also had too little water. The effects of the heat wave are also being felt in other regions. In northern Piedmont, for example, the authorities have already rationed drinking water in some communities.