The Sainte-Soline site, the scene of a demonstration of several thousand people and violent clashes between radical activists and the police during the weekend, was almost deserted, apart from a presence always important of the gendarmes to prohibit the access of it.

No construction machine had yet returned to the site protected by grids. The site will “continue”, indicated Wednesday the prefecture of the department and the Coop ‘of water, structure which carries the project, without specifying the dates.

The ban on demonstrations had been extended until Wednesday morning by the prefecture. Sunday evening at the end of the mobilization of the opponents, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, had announced the maintenance of a thousand gendarmes, “as much as it takes”, to prevent a ZAD from settling in Sainte- Solina.

The collective of opponents “Bassines, non merci”, organizer of the weekend demonstration, must hold a press conference on the spot at 11:00 a.m.

The land occupied this weekend during the mobilization, loaned by a farmer, was also deserted; all that remained were wooden watchtowers built by demonstrators.

On Saturday, several thousand people (4,000 according to the authorities, 7,000 according to the organizers) had gathered to protest. Clashes erupted when activists wanted to enter the site, before being repelled by the police.

The “basin” of Sainte-Soline, nickname given by the opponents, is one of the 16 reserves of several hundred thousand m3 which must be created in the Deux-Sèvres. Developed by a group of 400 farmers, the project aims to make water available for irrigation during the summer, thanks to the pumping of surface water tables in winter.

Its supporters make it a condition of survival for agriculture in the face of repeated droughts. Its detractors denounce a “grabbing of water” by “agro-industry”, coupled with an ecological aberration at the time of climate change.