On Friday, it was time to check compliance with water use restrictions.
“There, it’s a bit brutal, because we went from level 1 to 4″, resigns Sébastien Garzon, director of the majestic golf course of more than 100 hectares of the castle of Rochefort. For the Vallée de Chevreuse, where it is located, the prefect of Yvelines issued an order on July 28 in order to place the area hitherto under “vigilance” in “crisis”, without going through the “alert” and “alert” boxes. enhanced”.
“These bans take into account the state of rivers, groundwater, data from Météo-France, medium-term statistics”, lists Alain Tuffery, deputy director at the departmental directorate of territories (DDT).
A change in classification accompanied by coercive measures, in particular for golf courses which are now prohibited from watering anything other than their greens and again, with “a delimitation in volume of water” and at night, explains to AFP the responsible for DDT.
With the sub-prefect Florence Ghilbert, he accompanies this Friday the environmental police of the French Office for Biodiversity which carries out control and raises awareness in golf courses, sports stadiums, equestrian centers, washing stations, agricultural and residential areas. …
Sébastien Garzon complies with good grace, he who claims to have reduced the water consumption of the golf course by 70% since the decree. “We are thinking about the future (…), to plant grasses that are much more resistant to climatic conditions”. Investments “expensive” but necessary “if we want to resist over time”, projects the manager.
– “Ripped” garden and “yellow” lawn –
On the restaurant terrace, overlooking the green, Benoît Salaün has a coffee in the shade. “My garden is flat, my lawn is yellow but we deal with it,” laughs this 54-year-old business manager.
“This year, the situation in Yvelines is a reflection of what is happening in France,” said AFP the sub-prefect of the district of Rambouillet, Florence Ghilbert, recalling that the Prime Minister activated an interministerial crisis cell on Friday when a hundred municipalities in France no longer have drinking water.
In total in France, 93 out of 96 departments are subject to water restrictions to varying degrees and 62 are “in crisis”.
“Until then preserved”, the Yvelines did not resist the lack of rain this winter and “extreme heat waves”, details the sub-prefect.
This year, the water resource committee has met several times under the leadership of the State in order “to draw the attention of all those who have significant uses of water”. Ten days after the decree, the checks begin, explains Ms. Ghilbert.
In Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, in a washing station near a supermarket, traces of water still shine on the pitches. “We see that the station has been used recently,” notes Cécile Grimaldi, environmental inspector at the OFB. However, “in crisis”, only vehicles with health implications (SAMU, firefighters, etc.) are authorized to use them.
But “we are not going to verbalize” users who come to clean their vehicle in good faith, thinking that in a washing station, it is authorized, explains Johanna Van Herrenthals, head of service at the regional directorate Ile-de-France of the OFB.
The agents remain attentive to specific needs, such as those of equestrian centers where managers “are obliged to preserve the materials (the floors, editor’s note) so that the horses do not break their legs”, explains Cécile Grimaldi.
Ditto for agriculture, significant in the Yvelines with its large cereal plains. Thus the drop-by-drop remains authorized but not the large sprinklings, explains a DDT agent in front of a corn field.
Violators risk a fine of up to 1,500 euros for individuals, 7,000 euros for professionals.