Controversy Arises Over Authorization of New Borehole for Dairy Farm Irrigation in Maine-et-Loire

May 5, 2023 at 9:06 a.m. – Modified: May 5, 2023 at 10:15 a.m. by Emilie PLANTARD

In Maine-et-Loire, the prefecture has just authorized the first stages of the construction of a new 150-meter borehole, intended to irrigate the crops of a dairy farm. A group of local residents is protesting and has written a petition. The Confédération Paysanne supports this approach.

We are only in the spring and the risks of drought are already worrying the specialists, in particular in the east of the Pays-de-la-Loire region, where the state of the water tables is at a rather low level. However, in Faveray-Machelles, south of Angers, the Maine-et-Loire prefecture has just authorized a farm to dig a new 150-meter borehole, and to extract 40,000 m3 per year from the water table. to irrigate their crops. A way to limit pumping in the river, which worries local residents.

“The idea is to fetch water from the groundwater”

For its part, the Confédération Paysanne denounces an additional work on the region, where there are already many, to supply water-intensive crops. For Alain Guiffès, spokesperson for the union in Maine-et-Loire, “the project is 150 m deep so the idea is to fetch water from the water table… It is to no longer pump from the river, but from a well. All arable farming areas that irrigate do so using boreholes. Ihere, it is used to irrigate corn from May to September for dairy cattle farming, it is above all an intensive system which already has authorizations for 145,000 m3 of water, which is staggering.

However, this system will make it possible to limit pumping in the river, that is to say in surface water. The exploitation should increase from 85,000 m3 taken to 35,000.

Titre :Alain Guiffès, spokesperson for the Confédération Paysanne 49

Credit :Emilie Plantard

A difficult sharing of water

A group of opponents came together and wrote a petition signed by 150 people and sent to the prefecture. He requests the annulment of this decision. For Alain Guiffès of the Confédération Paysanne 49,”lThe risk is that it will compete with wells on the territory. And that’s what’s happening in Faveray-Machelles. We are here only to alert the population in the municipality, but at the origin of this file are petitioners from the municipality. They are the ones who say they cannot accept this, that there will be competition on the volumes of water, because the pumping wells of local residents will not be able to do it. And it turns out that in the sector it is not exponential, we are in areas where there are not necessarily large quantities of water underground.”

A public inquiry concerning this project is available at the town hall of Faveray-Machelles until this Friday, May 6.

Titre :Alain Guiffès, spokesperson for the Confédération Paysanne 49

Credit :Emilie Plantard

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In a petition, a collective of opponents insists on the state of the water tables on the territory “with surface wells which are already regularly lacking in water”. The Confederation Paysanne denounces the flexibility of the prefecture in the face of these farms which are still so greedy in water. “The corn/soya system has no future, explains Alain Guiffès, what we are calling into question is this system, which is largely subsidized by the CAP, and in return we are not asking these people for anything. It is up to the prefect to make choices, he cannot tell the population that we will have water restrictions and authorize a project like this without asking him to change the system and imagine another with 40,000 m3 less water.

The petition is available at the town hall of Faveray-Machelles.

Titre :Alain Guiffès, spokesperson for the Confédération Paysanne 49

Credit :Emilie Plantard

2023-05-05 07:12:00

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