The Council of State has just rejected the appeal brought by the irrigators of Charente-Maritime. The latter contested the decision of the administrative court of Bordeaux prohibiting them from using five basins. Between disappointment and annoyance, reaction of the president of the Association of irrigators.
The environmentalists won, we’re going to have to stop everything. Uplifted and disappointed, Thierry Boucard, president of the Authorized Trade Union Association for Irrigation of the Rocks, suffered the rejection of the Council of State. On February 3, 2023, the latter confirmed the ban on the use of the five substitution reserves intended for farmers in Charente-Maritime.
An opinion which confirms the decision of the Administrative Court of Appeal of Bordeaux in May 2022. Farmers in the municipalities of La Laigne, Cramchaban and La Grève-sur-le-Mignon will therefore not be able to take the Mignon basin to fill their basins . On May 17, 2022, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Bordeaux justified its decision by the absence or insufficiency of data in the impact studies as well as the absence of sources for certain data.
A big disappointment for irrigators
By appealing to the Council of State, the Authorized Trade Union Association for Irrigation of Roches denounced a decision of the administrative court of appeal insufficiently reasoned and based on hypothetical reasons and pointed to several distortions of the documents in the file, according to AFP . Arguments that the Council of State did not hear, which specifies that none of these means is such as to allow the admission of the appeal.
It’s more than disappointment, reacts Thierry Boucard to France 3. We had invested, we were convinced of doing well for everyone and especially for the environment. In recent years, the substitution reserves have sparked a wave of protest from environmental organizations and activists. They denounce the pumping of groundwater and the inefficiency of the device.
If we give up, it’s 5.5 million euros lost, 67% of which is public money.
Thierry Boucard, farmer and president of the Authorized Trade Union Association for Irrigation of Les Roches
Of course we pump in the water tables, but we do it to stock up and not have to do it in the summer, when they are at their lowest. Well now, we’ll do it in the summer, if that’s what they want, the farmer gets annoyed.
And now ?
Thierry Boucard struggles to hide his anger. He says he is worried about the future of agriculture. With decisions like that, we will end up not producing anything and having to import everything, he exclaims.
If for the moment the disappointment is too great to project towards a new request for the exploitation of water reservoirs, Thierry Boucard would like to remind you: They are not illegal, it is simply their use that is! So we can’t afford to degrade them as some people do.
The irrigators first try to digest the news before meeting to potentially request the operation of the controversial basins again.
Contacted, the spokesperson for the Bassines Non Merci collective, Julien Le Guet, has not responded to our requests, at the time of writing these lines.