Mega-basins: victory in court!


The Confédération paysanne (a long-standing ally of CETIM) is delighted with the decision of the Poitiers administrative court, which has just ruled on two appeals and cancelled the project to create fifteen mega-basins: nine planned for the Aume-Couture basin (including seven in Charente and two in Deux-Sèvres) and six in the Pallu sub-basin (Vienne).

The Confédération paysanne 86 is associated with the appeal lodged by Vienne nature and other organisations, which had gone to court to request the cancellation of the Vienne prefectoral decree.

The court therefore followed our analysis and that of the public rapporteur who, at the hearing on 19 September, had considered that the withdrawals planned to fill these “mega-basins” would compromise “the balanced and sustainable management of water resources”.

The court’s ruling points to both the oversizing of the projects and the local hydrological context and the foreseeable effects of climate change.

This judgement clearly states that the volumes planned for these mega-basin projects would enable the irrigators benefiting from them to take more water than the volumes used over the last 10 years. There is therefore no overall reduction in abstractions, and the very principle of substitution, the argument used by the authorities and project developers to justify mega-basins, is being called into question.

These rulings demonstrate what we have been denouncing for a long time. We call them mega-basins for a reason. These irrigation projects do not take into account the sharing of water between farmers; on the contrary, they extract a maximum amount of water for a minimum number of people. These works extract water from the environment and monopolise it, without any environmental or economic logic.

This ruling fully justifies the demand for a moratorium on mega-basins put forward by the Confédération paysanne, Bassines Non merci, Soulèvements de la terre and many other organisations and trade unions. We cannot understand why work should continue.

All projects and all mega-basins must stop immediately.

Original article in French on the Confédération paysanne website

Read our press release (in French) about mega-basins

Categories Access to justice Articles France Rights of peasants
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