Luxembourg's Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development and the Water Management Authority have advised the public to ration tap water during the current weather conditions.
Deficits in atmospheric precipitation in the first half of 2020, as well as in previous winter periods, have influenced the hydrological regime of rivers and groundwaters. For this reason, the Environment Ministry and the Water Management Authority have asked the population to respect the following guidelines regarding the use of tap water, as well as surface water withdrawals.
Given current weather conditions, tap water consumption is likely to increase significantly. In order to avoid overloading the public drinking water distribution networks, the population is advised to make rational use of tap water while avoiding waste. In this context, the following activities should be avoided: (re-)filling private and above ground (e.g. inflatable) pools; washing vehicles (except in professional car washes); washing footpaths, garages, courtyards and facades; using a high pressure cleaner; using fountains (except functioning closed circuit fountains); irrigation of lawns, parks, cemeteries and sports grounds (except for new plantings); and the refrigeration of food and beverages under water. Compliance with these tips should avoid a shortage that would lead to the implementation of mandatory restrictions on the use of tap water.
Regarding surface water, the current and forecasted weather conditions will mean that all the flows of Luxembourg's rivers are in low water. Thus, critical minima for the survival of aquatic organisms have been reached. In fact, it is not only the plants that lack water, but all the fauna and flora of the fluvial environment are affected.
Following the current low water situation in rivers, the Environment Ministry and the Water Management Authority have called on the population not to take water from surface waters. This is to avoid further compromising the survival of aquatic organisms and to cause partially irreversible degradation of the quality of surface water. It is recalled that water withdrawal is subject to authorisation. During low water periods, any withdrawal of water from surface waters is prohibited except in specific cases defined by ministerial orders.