Above-average rainfall in most of France in March and April has improved groundwater levels but more than-two thirds remained below average with the situation still worrying in the south, the French geological service BRGM said on Wednesday.

Risks of a drought by the end of the summer 2023 were now "extremely likely" in southeastern France and around Paris, the environment ministry said in a separate report.

Extremely dry conditions in southern Europe, mainly in neighbouring Spain, have caused water shortages in some regions while farmers are expecting their worst yields in decades.

France suffered its worst drought on record last summer and, like most of Europe, has faced a dry winter that has prompted concerns over water security.

Restrictions on water usage have already been implemented in some regions in southern France in recent months as authorities anticipated a summer drought.

"The situation remains unsatisfactory over a large part of the country: 68% of groundwater levels remain below monthly norms in April (compared to 75% in March 2023) with many sectors showing low to very low levels," BRGM said in its monthly bulletin.

Below-average levels stood at 58% in April last year.

Rainfall had improved groundwater tables in the northern part of the country where they were now considered as satisfactory in Brittany and some parts of northeastern France, which hosts some large grain-producing regions.

However, some concerns remained in southwest and northeast of Paris and the situation in the south, including the Mediterranean coast, was unsatisfactory to worrying, BRGM said.

The impact of wet weather this month would depend on the final amount of rain and the type of soil, it also said.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)