France in midst of 4th heat wave amid historic drought

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. heat wave / ˈhitˌweɪv / (n.) – a period of time when the weather is much hotter than usual

    It’s extremely hot today because of the heat wave.

  2. in place / ɪn pleɪs / (idiom) – used to say that something exists or is active

    The organizers have policies in place for managing crowds at events.

  3. irrigation / ˌɪr ɪˈgeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the process of supplying water to land where crops are being grown

    The government started an irrigation project for farms in the south.

  4. livestock / ˈlaɪvˌstɒk / (n.) – animals that are raised and used by people on a farm, like pigs, chickens, cows, etc.

    Carl is in the livestock business. He runs a farm and sells meat and eggs in local markets.

  5. generation / ˌdʒɛn əˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – the production of electrical power from a source of energy like water, wind, etc.

    Some businesses are shifting to renewable resources like solar energy for power generation.


Read the text below.

France was in the midst of its fourth heat wave of the year on August 7 as the country faces what the government warned is its worst drought on record.

National weather agency Meteo France said the heat wave began in the south and was expected to spread across the country.

Overall, the southern half of France expects daytime temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and won’t drop at night below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

The high temperatures aren’t helping firefighters battling a wildfire in the Chartreuse Mountains near the Alps in eastern France, where authorities have evacuated around 140 people.

Meteo France said the heat wave from the week of August 7 would not be as intense as the one in July, when several regions experienced record-breaking temperatures. But the high temperatures came during the most severe drought ever recorded, according to the government. July 2022 was the driest since measurements began in 1959.

Some French farmers have started to see drops in production especially in soy, sunflower and corn yields.

Water restrictions in place range from daytime irrigation bans to limiting water usage to people, livestock and to keep aquatic species alive.

The government said that more than 100 municipalities can’t provide drinking water through taps and need water truck supplies.

The heat also forced energy giant EDF to temporarily cut power generation at some of its nuclear plants, which use river water to cool reactors.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • According to sources, climate change is making heat waves more intense. In your opinion, what are some short-term solutions against heat waves that the government can offer to the people (ex. ensuring a steady water supply)? Discuss.
  • Some French farmers have started to see drops in the production of soy, sunflower, and corn. What do you think governments should do to prepare for the possibility of a shortage of certain products caused by extreme weather conditions? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Have you experienced a water shortage in your country due to extreme heat? Do you think you’re prepared in case of a water shortage? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Water restrictions are now in place in France due to the heat wave. Given the historic drought the country is experiencing, do you think these restrictions should still continue even after the heat wave has passed? Why or why not? Discuss.