Rainy spring: “20% more precipitation than usual” explains Flavien Riffiod, engineer at DREAL BFC

Rainy spring: “20% more precipitation than usual” explains Flavien Riffiod, engineer at DREAL BFC
Rainy spring: “20% more precipitation than usual” explains Flavien Riffiod, engineer at DREAL BFC

Rainy spring, happy spring? With the frequent and abundant rains since the start of the year, we can in any case see the specter of drought in Franche-Comté receding this year. “We look at the precipitation between September and May to know the recharge of the water tables”, explains Flavien Riffiod, hydrologist engineer at DREAL BFC, the regional environment department of Burgundy-Franche-Comté.

“A level of water tables above average” – Flavien Briffiod

“We have about 15 to 20% more rain than average, so the tables are generally also above average.” Overall, because there are differences due to the nature of the soils: “There are aquifers [terrain perméable,  permettant l’écoulement d’une nappe souterraine et le captage de l’eau, ndlr ] porous, with sand or gravel, and next to karsts which will allow much faster underground flow of water. specifies the deputy head of department at the Biodiversity Water Heritage Service.

Flavien Briffio is a hydrologist engineer at DREAL in Burgundy-Franche-Comté.

“Groundwater tables are quite close to the surface, unlike deep water tables, which are relatively little exploited for drinking water,” completes Flavien Briffiod. “We generally have enough with groundwater or karst springs, which represent the majority of catchments in the Doubs. Except that these catchments on karst soils are more sensitive to the weather, it rises quickly after rain as on the spring du Lison where we are seeing strong flow rates at the moment.”

No guarantee against a possible drought this summer

So will we escape the drought this year? Not necessarily. “In the region the flows are rapid and the reserves are quite low, it only takes a few weeks without rain for the level of water flows and reserves to quickly drop very low again,” immediately tempers the hydrologist engineer. “Last year, February was very dry and we reached very low levels, with the first restrictive measures at the end of February,” recalls Flavien Briffiod again.

It is therefore still impossible to guarantee that drought will not be present this summer. “Example in 2018, we had fairly significant floods in January-February, with the town center of Ornans which was flooded”, he reminds again. “And behind that, we had the Doubs dry and very severe low water in the fall.”

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