From: Associated Press
Published July 19, 2005 12:00 AM

Chirac Asks French Not to Waste Water During Summer Dry Spell

LA ROCHELLE, France — President Jacques Chirac urged the French on Monday not to waste water as the country copes with a spell of sizzling, arid weather that has forced several regions to impose restrictions to conserve water.


Bans and limits have been issued across 51 of France's 96 regional departments. Residents in some of the hardest-hit areas, in southern and western France, have been barred from watering gardens, filling private swimming pools and cleaning cars outside of professional car washes.


Speaking in the Atlantic coastal city of La Rochelle, Chirac asked the French to "make an effort to limit abusive and unnecessary use of water."


Noting that there was no threat to France's drinking water supply, Chirac said it was essential that water "be treated with a little more respect than it is today."


Chirac, who was meeting with officials to discuss concerns over the dry spell, asked farmers and businesses to be particularly attentive to the restrictions that apply to them.


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Three volunteer firefighters died Monday while fighting a blaze in the central France town of Metz-le-Comte that may have been aggravated by a dry spell, said Jean-Francois Moniotte of the regional prefecture.


Source: Associated Press


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