Vacationing Moroccan king drains water supply from villages outside Paris

Morocco's King Mohammed VI © Thierry Gouegnon
The residents of some villages near Paris, chosen as a place of recreation for the King of Morocco, are far from amused. The monarch, who brought up to 300 people with him, has drained their water supplies.

King Mohamed VI apparently loves pompous holidays – for his French vacations in the small village of Betz he brought a whole entourage of 300 people. Betz, some 40km from the French capital, has a population of around 1,000.

The vacationers who arrived August 24 drained all the water resources of a small village in a single day, according to French media. The water was necessary not only for consumption, but for keeping the garden and watering horses in the king’s huge castle (or, perhaps, oasis).

“We received a message from the water department which advised us from drinking tap water,” local resident Dimitri told Le Parisien. 

However, Betz was not the only village to suffer – the Moroccan royals also drained the nearby village of Villiers-Saint-Genest, 4km away. The population there is some 350 people, about the size of the king’s entourage.

Village Mayor Thierry Tavernier told local media that water was “becoming increasingly scarce” in the area.

Saur group, which optimizes water resources, has been delivering bottled water to residents, mainly to schoolchildren and the elderly.

“It is clear that his [the king’s] presence accelerates the problem of water resources,” a Saur official told Le Parisien.

Social media users have expressed anger over the Royal oasis in deserted French villages. The hashtag # EaupourBetz (water for Betz) has recently appeared on Twitter. Some users called the Moroccan King simply “a thief” and ironically wrote: “Long live the King.”

“France is no longer an oasis,” joked @ marquis201789, while @ CamillePolloni added: “When the king is [in France], consumption [of water] is skyrocketing”.