The main farmers and ecologists have argued over water management for too long without really making any progress. Now it’s up to politicians to get wet.
This Thursday evening, March 4th, France will tell the story of the construction of a water reservoir for irrigation in a report entitled “The Water War”, which aired at 9:05 pm during the “Envoy Special” program on France 2 , known as “See”, discover of Caussade, ”which is in the headlines of Lot-et-Garonne. Or rather, part of the story. The Special Envoy chose to skip the political issue in favor of an ideological confrontation by not specifying that prior to the prohibition of the construction of the lake, a permit had been given by the state.
The President of the Lot-et-Garonne Chamber of Agriculture, Serge Bousquet-Cassagne, has not forgotten the day he met Didier Lallement, now the Prefect of the Paris Police and then the Prefect of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region: “We asked him why had he broken his own decree of June 29, 2018 authorizing the construction of the lake? He replied: I can’t help it. It’s political. Your business is too close to Sivens. “”
The main sponsor of Lake Caussade therefore has a good game of denouncing a “state lie” and points to the role that the Minister for Ecological Change, François de Rugy, played in this backpedaling at the time.
The floods revived the controversy
Last month’s floods in the southwest increased the feeling of injustice among farmers, who see millions of cubic meters of water spinning under their noses without being able to keep the tiny portion of it they would need to tackle the summer droughts.
However, the issue of restoring the water table was taken up by the waters of the Garonne in February to read Jean-François Berthoumieu, director of the climatological association of Moyen-Garonne in La France Agricole: “The water table has been refilled. Completely for 40 million cubic meters […] The excess water ends up in the ocean. It is necessary to review the framework directive on water, the rules of which are no longer adapted to local problems. “
In order to get out of ideological conflict, the politician has to get wet in public this time. What Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie began to do in the Senate on January 27th: “It’s easier to put the issue of water under the rug. I don’t intend to do it […] We have to support our farmers. The redevelopment plan therefore provides a line of 100 million euros to support the investment […] The root of the problem is the issue of water. “”
A decree is expected before the end of March
At the same time, his colleague, the Minister for Ecological Change, advocated a consultation a few months earlier: “I have no prejudices about water reservoirs and reservoirs. If these actions are chosen, they must follow a reflection in the areas […] “”
However, territorial water management projects (PTGE) are not a panacea and are rarely successful. In order to limit blockages, a decree on “quantitative management” should facilitate the collective management of water for irrigation. “The publication is planned for the first quarter,” announced Barbara Pompili in November. The project was open for public consultation until February 11 and generated 1,158 comments on its ministry’s website.