The water quality continues to deteriorate in France

More rare, the more polluted the water of rivers and groundwater is in a “calamitous”, says Tuesday, UFC-que choisir, which criminalizes “the consequences of decades of agricultural productivist” and “inaction”.

In a report on the “preservation of the aquatic resource” published on the occasion of the States general of food, the association calls for “urgent reform” of the water policy to put in place measures for the prevention of agricultural pollution and to apply strictly the principle of “taking-polluter-pays”principle.

“Due to the lack of reform, of change of direction and gear, it is unfortunate that the environmental degradation are always massive,” writes the organization, which had published a similar study in 2005.

Half of the aquifers already affected

The UFC-que choisir identifies the catastrophic toll of the aquatic resource :

“In the half of the French territory, the pesticides are present in streams at rates higher than the standard allowed in drinking water”. This standard is also exceeded in the “one-third of the groundwater aquifers.”

Intensive agriculture is unable to correct

Worse, in the past, “the contamination of nitrate have increased, leaving more than half of the tablecloths free”.

The association posts these “environmental disasters” to the intensive agriculture that explains it, “is far from having corrected its practices” because “the quantities of fertilizers used have not decreased in twenty years” and that “the use of pesticides has increased by 18% in 5 years”.

| Also read : “Still more pesticides in the French cultures”

With regard to theirrigation, “she is more particularly concentrated in the areas most affected by the restrictions on the use of water, thereby worsening the shortage,” said UFC-que choisir.

Charge for “pollution” : the consumers pay 88%…

The association regrets that the repair of environmental damage is still very largely funded by consumers. Via their water bill, they ” pay 88 % of the charge for “pollution” and 70% of the charge for “sampling”, or 1.9 billion euros per year “, she says.

… and agriculture only 7%

Agriculture, ” yet responsible to it only 70% of the pollution by pesticides, of 75% of the pollution by nitrates and 50% of consumption net water” pay only “7 % of the fee +pollution+ and 4 % of the charge for “sampling”, in flagrant violation of the principle of “taking-polluter-pays” principle “, adds the association.

Preventing pollution is 2.5 less costly than clean up

She also believes that the water policy in the regions is “dictated by agricultural interests”, leading it to focus on “measures, primarily healing, too often without trying to reduce pollution at the source, even though it is 2.5 times less expensive to prevent pollution than to clean up”.

The association calls on consumers to take action signing the petition “aquatic Resource -STOP jamboree !” and launches a campaign of sensitization of parliamentarians.

Punctures “exceptional” from the State in the budget of the water

The UFC que choisir denounces also another fundamental problem : the punctures made by the State on the significant budget of the water agencies in each year from 2014 – and each year is presented as “exceptional”. But the worst is yet to come, according to the organization, alarmed by a worsening in the combined sustainability of the system :

“The finance Bill 2018 provides for a levy of € 300 million per year, or 15 % of the estimated budget of the water agencies, for uses unrelated to water management. It is far from the principle founder of the agencies : ‘water pays for water’ !”

| Also read : the report of the UFC que choisir

(with AFP)

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