The gift of an air to water machine given to HSH Prince Albert by Michael Mirilashvili, founder of the manufacturer, has been rebuffed by the French authorities because it is not yet ‘approved’ in France.

The Sovereign had offered the Watergen machine to provide emergency water for some of those affected by the devastation of the Vésubie and Roya valleys in Storm Alex last month.

In the wake of the terrible floods Monaco immediately donated four million euros in emergency aid.

In an interview with local French-language daily Monaco Matin, Prince Albert expressed his disappointment, adding that he had had long discussions with the French authorities, including with the prefecture.

The Watergen machine has been successfully deployed in many parts of the world to deliver potable water where there isn’t any. It produces between 200 and 900 litres of water a day, depending on the level of humidity in the air.

Although some districts of Tende are still without water, the Watergen machine stays at Monaco’s Prince’s Palace.

PHOTO: Michael Mirilashvili with HSH Prince Albert in 2019. Watergen