Weather Concerns for Paris 2024: River Seine Events Vulnerable to Rain

Weather Concerns for Paris 2024: River Seine Events Vulnerable to Rain

An advisor to the mayor of Paris raises a red flag about the potential impact of heavy rain on events slated for the River Seine during the 2024 Olympics. The river is slated to be the venue for marathon swimming, triathlon, and paratriathlon competitions, yet concerns loom over the feasibility of these events in adverse weather conditions. Despite the city’s ongoing efforts to enhance water quality, setbacks have been encountered, leading to the cancellation of certain summer events due to Seine water quality issues.

Pauline Lavaud, serving as the mayor’s advisor on energy and climate transition, emphasises the city’s proactive stance on risk reduction. In the event of continuous rainfall, there is the possibility of postponing swimming events. Paris is fervently working towards ameliorating the water quality of the Seine, asserting its suitability for bathing on an average of two out of three days during the summer.

With the ambitious £1.2bn regeneration project, Paris aspires to establish swimming as a lasting legacy. Three open-air swimming areas, expected to be accessible from the quayside by 2025, form a pivotal part of this vision. However, recent setbacks have been encountered, notably the cancellation of the Open Water Swimming World Cup and the World Triathlon Para Cup due to water quality concerns.

Lavaud elucidates that unprecedented levels of rain, reminiscent of those last witnessed in the 1970s, have adversely affected water quality. In a bid to mitigate risks, Paris is currently in the process of constructing the Austerlitz basin, a facility designed to store and treat rainwater before its release into the Seine. Rigorous daily testing during the Olympic Games is set to be conducted to ensure the safety of athletes partaking in water-based events.

Despite facing challenges, Lavaud sees the Olympics as a catalyst for progress, bringing the Seine’s water sanitation levels back to a state reminiscent of the pre-industrial era. The Games have served as a driving force, propelling the city forward by a decade in its endeavours to render the Seine suitable for recreational bathing. As Paris navigates the intricacies of hosting aquatic events, the ongoing construction of vital infrastructure and meticulous testing stand as testaments to the city’s unwavering commitment to surmounting challenges posed by inclement weather and water quality concerns.


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