Dryness constitutes a major risk whose already colossal financial cost is called upon to increase, without us being able to perceive a limit to date. To optimize the management of these crisis situations, we must always improve our means of struggle. In this context, the role of the State is fundamental to encourage prevention and disseminate a real culture of drought risk.
With global warming, droughts will be more and more recurrent. Thus, when the temperatures are up, evaporation increases, which consolidates the intensity and duration of drought episodes. The year 2022 is the warmest ever measured in France, with a direct consequence on the level of drought.
The Professional Federation France Insurers stresses that in 2022, the overall losses in France amounted to 2.5 billion euros following episodes of drought. The risk of drought remains at a high level since in 2023, the rain did not fall for 31 consecutive days between the months of January and February. It is the driest winter since 1959. Measures of water restriction are even already scheduled in March.
The human, economic and social impacts linked to drought are colossal. The health of populations is weakened by intense episodes, such as biodiversity. Cultures and livestock suffer from this situation. The dwellings encounter the so-called “remoncing of clays” phenomenon (RGA) which constitutes a potential for major claims: 48 % of the territory is exposed to this risk with more than 16 % of houses at high risk in mainland France. Cracks on the facades, ceilings or houses of houses materialize the appearance of the RGA.
A potentially systemic risk
In France, claims linked to drought could cost 43 billion euros over the 2020-2050 period, the triple of the period 1989-2019. Companies also have to face the harshness of drought episodes. The latter strongly impacted the hydroelectric dams in 2022. The EDF group has thus announced a decline of 20 % of its hydroelectric production. Navigation on the Rhine is subject to the hazard of drought periods whose negative impacts are legion in all the strata of the economy.
The drought presents the physiognomy of a potentially systemic risk which would have the ability to deeply touch, at the same time, a large area of a region or a country. This aspect makes it all the more feared by the multiplication of drought periods announced for the years to come. The role of the State is essential in the financial management of this type of situation in which no economic player can venture alone.
You have 49.72% of this article to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.