The Casse-Mortier water catchment, in Clavette in Charente-Maritime, is still closed. A year ago, the Regional Health Agency made this decision after noting that the pesticide concentration was too high. Since then, two local and environmental associations have been following the dossier, Nature Environnement 17 and Avenir Santé Environnement. And because they find that he is not moving forward, both filed a complaint against X in December (2021). They are waiting for answers to their questions. It is a small catchment, which irrigates nearly 5,000 inhabitants of Clavette, Croix-Chapeau and La Jarrie, as well as two hamlets.
Associations and agglomeration have the same desire: to reopen the catchment
Three questions remain unanswered. The first one : how long did this pollution last? It is Patrick Picaud of Nature Environnement 17 who questions: “We would like to know this period of time to know the extent of this pollution, how many people affected and to what degree, if it could have been significant, and therefore possible consequences on health.” The agglomeration of La Rochelle, not competent at the time, has taken over the “Water” file since. It is Guillaume Krabal who takes care of it. What he can say over time: “What I know is that all the analyzes carried out before were good, so the duration was minimal. As for the consequences on health, I remind you that the water from the Casse-Mortier catchment is diluted, to nearly 80% with that of the Charente. If we add this information in a short time, the health risks are also minimal. “
Since then, catchment has been closely monitored, controls have been tightened, “several analyzes are done each week, supports Guillaume Krabal. And all of them are good. _No anomalies were detected in one year_“. Before adding: “But we won’t reopen the catchment until we are sure this can happen again.”
This is precisely the second question asked by the two associations: how to secure the site? If nothing has changed on the spot, things are moving forward. The agglomeration wants to create a protection zone, 500 meters around the site where any use of pesticides would be prohibited. “And we will also classify all the ditches around the water catchment, which will also make it possible to ban pesticides around these ditches.” The prefecture has given its agreement.
Progress in the first half of 2022
We are therefore at the longest part, the whole “paperwork” side: “You have to initiate procedures, sign deeds, all of this takes a long time”, adds Guillaume Krabal, who hopes for progress in the first half of 2022. “Be careful, I’m not talking about reopening the catchment”, he warns. Before, we will also have to initiate discussions with the agricultural world, the Chamber of Agriculture, before taking action in the field.
Finally, the two associations ask themselves one last question: how did this pollution come about? We know that it comes from pesticides, but no more. And it is above all on this point that the complaint filed should allow progress to be made.