France and parts of England are experiencing their driest July on record as a new heat wave approaches.

France, as well as southern and eastern England, experienced the driest July on record, making already scarce water resources even more scarce, forcing restrictions on both sides of the English Channel.

In France, where a severe drought has hit farmers and led to widespread cuts to fresh water, only 9.7 millimeters of rain fell last month, according to Meteo France.

The agency added that this is 84% ​​less than the July average since 1991, making it the second driest month since March 1961.

Meanwhile, southern and eastern parts of England recorded their lowest July rainfall on record, the UK Met Office, which has kept records since 1836, said on Monday.

Across England, an average of 23.1mm of rain fell, the lowest monthly rate since 1935, and the seventh-lowest July on record.

The low rainfall in both countries is combined with unprecedented summer temperatures, which in July exceeded 40 degrees Celsius for the first time in England.

Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that carbon emissions from humans burning fossil fuels are warming the planet, increasing the risk and severity of droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather events.

An analysis by an international team of researchers published last Friday found that human-induced climate change has made a recent record heat wave in the UK at least 10 times more likely.

Vodokanals struggle with demand, impose restrictions

Water companies on both sides of the English Channel are struggling to respond to dry conditions.

Nearly all 96 French mainland regions have introduced restrictions on water use, which is also a record.

The country is bracing for a third heat wave this summer, starting in the southeast on Monday before heading north towards Paris.

Farmers across the country are reporting difficulty feeding livestock due to dry pastures, and irrigation has been banned in large areas in the northwest and southeast due to lack of fresh water.

On the Rhine River, which flows along the French-German border, commercial ships have to go to a third of their carrying capacity in order not to hit the bottom due to low water levels.

Environment Minister Christophe Bechu said July’s rainfall was “only 12% of what was needed”.

“We have a heat wave that increases the demand (for water) and a drought that limits what is available, pushing us into this vicious circle,” Bechu told BFM during a visit to the hard-hit Ysere department in the southeast.

In England, one water supplier has so far announced restrictions.

Southern Water, which supplies supplies to much of central and southern England, will impose restrictions on its nearly one million customers later this week.

But the so-called hose ban could soon be replicated by other suppliers following a warning from the UK government’s Environment Protection Agency that people should use water “wisely”.

Last week, the agency reported that much of England had entered a “long dry weather” regime.

This means that precautionary measures are currently being taken to mitigate the impact “as hydrological conditions deteriorate”.