Drought: “need to accelerate transitions”, says Christophe Béchu

Faced with the droughthistorical“, the government wants”convey messages about the need and the need to accelerate transitions“, assures the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, in an interview with Provence on Friday August 5, before a visit to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

Ahead of a day of meetings with farmers affected by the drought, in the company of the Minister of Agriculture, Christophe Béchu recalled that “drinking water is 20% of consumption withdrawals. Agricultural uses are double“. “Adaptation is not an option, it is an obligation anyway“, insisted the minister in the columns of the regional daily, “many sections of agriculture and industry, of society have already initiated this movement, not all of them. We will both see those who are going in the right direction and the others.»

SEE ALSO – In a “historic” context of drought, Christophe Béchu gives “priority to drinking water”

Crisis for agriculture

Christophe Béchu, who signed a decree at the end of July authorizing the control and monitoring of levels even in winter, insists on management upstream of crises: “that we don’t wait for low water to ask the question“. Also interviewed by La Provence, the Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, abounds by wondering “how to recover water in periods when rainfall is excessive to mobilize it in times of scarcity without impacting other needs“.

Asked about agricultural watering in this time of crisis, Marc Fesneau estimated that “if there is no water, there is no harvest and if there is no harvest, the question of food sovereignty arises. Sometimes just watering the cattle is a problem and you have to take care of that too“. For the most water-intensive crops, such as corn, Marc Fesneau assured that “we did not wait for the 2022 episode. More water-efficient systems are installed“, adding that in the absence of maize to feed the livestock, “we have to import soy which is a product of deforestation“, pleading for”an overview“.

Friday morning, faced with aexceptional drought” and an “historical situation that many territories are going through“, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has decided to activate the interministerial crisis unit, announced Matignon.

SEE ALSO – What is the difference between “meteorological drought”, “soil drought” and “groundwater drought”?

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