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Public law

12/ May

Legal news

Public law

Drought/Water restrictions: Application of "alert" level measures from 13 May to 31 October 2023 (Ministerial Decision of 11 May 2023)

The Ministerial Decision of 11 May 2023 relating to the drought situation on the territory of the Principality of Monaco places the entire territory under drought alert, from 13 May 2023 until 31 October 2023, in accordance with the provisions of the Environment Code (Sovereign Order No. 9. 896 of 4 May 2023 establishing a mechanism aiming at guaranteeing a rational use of water resources, creating new Articles O. 322-4-1 to O. 322-4-7), with application of the measures provided for by Ministerial Order No. 2023-255 of 4 May 2023 relating to the "alert" level drought situation.

Ministerial Order No. 2023-253 of 4 May 2023 relating to the drought situation of "reinforced alert" level in the Principality of Monaco, and Ministerial Order No. 2023-254 of 4 May 2023 relating to the drought situation of "crisis" level in the Principality of Monaco were also published the same day (JDM No. 8642 of 12 May 2023).

Motivation for water use restrictions

The Ministerial Decision of 11 May 2023 is motivated by the need to manage shortage situations in order to guarantee the exercise of priority uses, and more particularly health, civil security, the supply of drinking water and the preservation of ecosystems, in consideration of the following elements likely to create a tension on the Principality's water resources:

  • the significantly deficient precipitation anomalies observed throughout the year 2022 and 2023, combined with temperature anomalies that are in excess for the season, throughout the territory and in the neighbouring territory;
  • the weakening of the water resources collection levels in the Roya valley, following the consequences of storm Alex ;
  • the placing of the neighbouring department in a state of alert and the associated water use restriction measures which were decided by Prefectoral Decree on 10 March and 25 April 2023;
  • the weather forecasts are not likely to reverse these trends in the near future.

* * *

Water use restrictions

The use of water in Monaco is regulated from 13 May until 31 October 2023 on the basis and in application of the following provisions:

• New Articles O. 322-4-1 to O. 322-4-7 of the Environment Code

  • Tensions on water resources give rise to alerts and, if necessary, a ministerial order establishing one or more measures to limit, restrict or temporarily suspend certain water uses.
  • The alert level is triggered by the Minister of State in the light of available knowledge and information, taking into account any results of studies on the foreseeable effects of climate change.
  • The four alert levels ("vigilance", "alert", "reinforced alert", "crisis") can be modulated according to the season, thus allowing, from the beginning of the season, to take appropriate measures to slow down the drop in water levels, to anticipate a worsening of the situation and, in any case, to avoid disruption of supply.
  • The measures limiting, restricting or temporarily suspending certain uses of water (inapplicable to uses for which the water used comes from the recovery of rainwater, the Principality's surface water or the recycling of waste water) must be 1°) adapted to the situation, sufficient and proportionate to the aim sought, 2°) fixed for a limited period, possibly renewable, 3°) interrupted, if necessary gradually, if the event giving rise to the measure disappears, 4°) established in accordance with the measures applied in neighbouring basins.
  • The operator of the public drinking water network must provide, at the request of the Environment Directorate, any information relating to water consumption useful for the purposes of controlling the application of the measures of limitation, restriction or provisional suspension of certain water uses established by ministerial order.
  • A derogation to one or several measures of limitation, restriction or provisional suspension of certain water uses or to their application modalities can be granted exceptionally by reasoned individual decision for the safeguard of a major public interest.

• Restriction measures provided for by Articles 2 to 11 of Ministerial Order No. 2023-255 of 4 May 2023:

Priority water uses are not concerned by these measures (drinking water supply for the population, civil security, preservation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, safeguarding of trees and plants classified as "heritage" pursuant to Sovereign Order No. 3.197 of 25 March 2011, and uses related to public health that are strictly necessary and cannot be postponed).

Moreover, these measures are not applicable to uses for which the water used comes from rainwater recovery, surface water in the Principality, or the recycling of wastewater.

The professionals concerned by these measures must designate a person within their structures to be in charge of monitoring them.

  • WATERING RESTRICTIONS: The watering of vegetable gardens is only authorised between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. The watering of lawns, flower beds, flower boxes, green spaces and sports fields is only authorised between 8pm and 8am and on condition that water consumption is reduced by 20%.
  • FILLING OF BATHS, SWIMMING POOLS, PADDLES, SWIMMING POOLS IS PROHIBITED, except in the case of refilling and during the first filling when the latter started before the first restrictions: Filling of baths or whirlpools, paddling pools and public or private swimming pools for collective use, as defined by Sovereign Order No. 9.690 of 20 January 2023, is prohibited.
  • PROHIBITION OF WASHING OF VEHICLES AND EQUIPMENT with exception: The washing of vehicles and equipment by private individuals is prohibited on the public highway as well as on private roads open to public traffic. However, the washing of vehicles and equipment is authorised for professionals or for private individuals when it is carried out on a site using high pressure equipment and a system equipped with a water recycling device.
  • LIMITATION ON WASHING OF BOATS AND/OR WATERCRAFT: The washing of boats and/or watercraft for pleasure or professional purposes is only allowed when it is carried out during the following time periods: between 7.30 a.m. and 9 a.m. or between 8 p.m. and 9.30 p.m., by a professional using high-pressure equipment and a system equipped with a water recycling system.
  • NO CLEANING OF FACADES AND ROOFS except in the public interest.
  • LIMITATION OF CLEANING OF TROITTOIRS AND OTHER WATERPROOF SURFACES: Cleaning is allowed provided that the frequency is modulated to take into account the water situation.
  • CLOSING OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FOUNTAINS with exception: Fountains are closed, except if they operate in a closed circuit or with a push button system.
  • DELAYING EXCEPTIONAL WATER CONSUMPTION OPERATIONS (e.g. fire drills) except for public safety purposes.

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