The government’s water management plan does not convince opponents of mega-basins

Plan of sobriety, reuse of wastewater, progressive pricing: traveling in the Hautes-Alpes the President of the Republic sketched this March 30 the main lines of his “water plan”. Measures, in particular those for agriculture, which did not convince the opponents of mega-basins.

The vocabulary, the philosophy, the solutions, nothing in the “water plan” outlined by the President of the Republic meets the expectations of opponents of mega-basins, and especially not with regard to agriculture.

For the spokesman of the Confédération Paysanne Nicolas Girod, “We do not feel the logic of an ambition of less useion of water in agriculture. We should have an agriculture that imposes itself, a sober use of water.”

Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed in his speech the need for irrigation, and the usefulness of artificial water storage for farmers, but proposed that the next ones take better account of the scarcity of water. “This is not about privatizing water. Or allow some to grab it“, he said, repeating that the water was “essential to our food sovereignty“.

Nicolas Girod recalls that irrigation concerns only 7% of farmers, and regrets that this plan “leaves all the others aside, and does not attack the causes of the problem. For us, the major issue is retaining water in the soil. Funding must be redirected towards practices that retain water in the soil: plant cover, hedges, meadows, etc.

Water is not only a problem of quantity, it is also a problem of quality.

Julien Le Guet

Spokesperson for the Bassines collective Non Merci!

Irrigation, water reserves, artificial groundwater recharge, alongside Nicolas Girod, spokesperson for the Bassines collective, no thank you! Julien Le Guet denounces illusory technical and costly responses. “Innovation is still being in the idea that it is science that will save us. Artificial groundwater recharge is a poorly studied Veolia technology that poses a whole host of problems. Water is not only a problem of quantity, it is also a problem of quality.

In his speech, the President of the Republic conditioned the construction of future mega-basins on “significant changes in practices“on the part of irrigating farmers, the consultation of the actors and the scientific validation of these projects.

For Nicolas Girod and Julien Le Guet, both members of the Les Uprisings of the Earth collective, which wanted to react to Emmanuel Macron’s plan with a common water plan, these conditions are a decoy, they already existed in the projects validated by the deputy of Deux-Sèvres Delphine Batho in 2018, none is really applied, the deputy has since disassociated herself from these projects. ” We can clearly see it in the field, the changes in practice implemented by the irrigators, they are miniscule. For consultation, we have to force the door often to make our proposals heard in these different meetings. As for scientific validation, it’s the same, they don’t take into account independent studies that go against their projects.

Pour Benoît Feuillu of the Earth Uprisings, “the big fault of the president in his water plan, it is not to take into account that there is an imperative need to put an end to the projects of basins, to stop the work and to resume the dialogue. Samee actors in the field, irrigators and water agencies, are beginning to admit that mega-basins are not the ideal solution“, he asserts.

The LFI deputies recalled this March 30 their own tracks for “protect water“, advocating a “bifurcation” for agriculture and energies. “The intensive agriculture model poses serious imbalances by monopolizing this resource and disrupting the water cycle.they write in a 40-page booklet.

The rebels want “a national plan aimed at supporting all farmers in the ecological bifurcation of agriculture, adaptation to climate change and exit from the livestock industryl”.

The first follow-up to the announcement of the 53 measures of the government’s Water plan are the rallies scheduled for Thursday March 30 at 7 p.m. in front of the prefectures in nearly 130 cities in France, at the call of the collective Les Uprisings of the Earth , which are expected to be joined by nearly 300 organizations. Gatherings that they want to be peaceful, and the beginning of a new form of struggle.

(with AFP)