Lake water for cattle

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GENEVA – A simple fly-over request apparently got lost in translation when Swiss army helicopters were seen taking water from Lac des Rousses in the French Jura Mountains, according to news reports. The water was intended for cows that were stranded in drought-stricken mountain pastures.

The Swiss took an estimated 53 cubic meters (14,000 gallons) from the lake as residents and tourists looked on. News reports state that the action was prompted by the worst heat wave in the area since 2003. Reports estimate that 20,000 head of cattle are affected by drought conditions.

Swiss military officials apologized for the misunderstanding, saying that an official request to withdraw water from the lake was sent to the French government. The French say they thought the request was for a fly over, and that they were not told the Swiss would be taking water from the lake.

The Swiss army apologized for the incident. French and Swiss officials are expected to meet Aug. 3 to resolve the issue, according to media reports.
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