Activation of the drought warning in the Alpes-Maritimes

15 March 2023

Due to the weather conditions, washing your vehicle or boat is once again prohibited across the whole of the Alpes-Maritimes department. This measure applies to all ports on the French Riviera.

There is currently a significant strain on water resources across Alpes-Maritimes.

Following 2022, a year which was marked by an exceptional drought, there was once again a rainfall deficit in the Alpes-Maritimes department during the rainy season, comprising the months between September 2022 and March 2023, with 30-55% less rain compared to the average. There was a particularly large rainfall deficit in February 2023 (-87%).

Consequently, river and groundwater flows are abnormally low for the season, and the snow layer is around 60% less compared to the department average.

As a result, the Alpes-Maritimes department has been placed in the “drought” warning stage, and the use of water is subject to control in the region.

The prefectoral order published on 13 March bans in particular the washing of vehicles, sea crafts (with or without an engine) and boats. Parks and gardens are also concerned: no watering between 8 am and 8 pm.

These water restriction measures, reiterated in the order available at, apply to all uses, with the exception of priority uses linked to health, hygiene and civil safety.

In the event of failure to comply with the instructions, users risk a 5th-class fine of €1,500 for a natural person.

*Consult the prefectural decree