A number of restrictions on the use of water will come into force in Monaco on Saturday, May 13.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Minster of State Pierre Dartout said that we are now living with the consequences of global warming. Much of the south of France and parts of Italy and Spain have already suffered from exceptional waves of drought this year, Mr Dartout said.

As a result of the situation, Monaco has introduced four levels of alert: Vigilance, Alert, Heightened Alert (Alerte renforcée), and Crisis.

The Principality will move from Vigilance to Alert from Saturday and this will require a reduction in water use, Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment Mme Céline Caron-Dagioni said.

The public authorities will limit the cleaning of roads and streets. In the private domain, the watering of plants and lawns will be prohibited from 08:00 until 20:00 daily, as will the washing of boats, both private and professional.

Comparing the situation to other countries, Monaco has a very low level of leakage from water pipes, the minister added.

Monaco has five water sources of its own to utilise, but imports much of its water from the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes. Investigations are being carried out into other possible sources, and studies continue into the re-use of so-called grey water, water that has already been used.

In the meantime, the Government’s strategy is one of education and persuasion: “Our aim is to persuade consumers to use less water,” Mr Dartout said.