Mega Pools: What is "Water Convoy"?

A new chapter begins in the protest movement against mega-basins.

Mega Pools: What is "Water Convoy"?

A new chapter begins in the protest movement against mega-basins. A "Water Convoy" set off from Deux-Sèvres. This event will end in Paris on August 27. All information about this event.

The starting point of this itinerant convoy is not due to chance. The town of Lezay (Deux-Sèvres) is located 5 kilometers from Sainte-Soline, the scene of a very violent demonstration last March. A convoy of 700 cyclists and around fifteen tractors set off from Lezay, in Deux-Sèvres, on August 18, 2023. It must reach Orléans, in Loiret, on August 25, then Paris where a rally is planned for the weekend. -end of August 26 and 27. The demonstrators hope that the convoy will make it possible to "renew the dialogue" with the government. They want mega-basin projects to be suspended and consultation to be organized with the populations concerned.

The convoy is organized by the collective "Bassines non merci!" and the Peasant Confederation. Demonstrators are protesting against the construction of mega-basins, giant water reservoirs that will be used to irrigate crops. They consider that these basins are a waste of water and that they harm the environment and biodiversity. They also fear that the mega-ponds are not being used in a sustainable way and that they will lead to overexploitation of water. They also want to warn about water resources in a context of drought and heat waves.

This demonstration started on Friday August 18, 2023 at noon from Lezay (Deux-Sèvres) and must reach Orleans on August 25. 8 stops are planned before this destination. Finally, a rally is planned for the weekend of August 26 and 27 in Paris. The detailed program is available via this link. Every day, the convoy will travel 50 to 60 kilometers every day. The Orléans stage will be very symbolic since the exact destination is the Loire-Brittany regional water agency. According to Laurence Marandola, spokesperson for the Confédération paysanne, to Franceinfo: "The water agencies are masters of the territory's water policy. They are the very big financiers of works on water. They finance the mega-basins with 70% of the public money!"

Demonstrations around these types of projects have been violent on several occasions, notably in March 2023 in Sainte-Soline. The government dissolved the collective "Les Uprisings of the Earth", but the Council of State suspended this decision. The Vienne prefecture announced in a press release on Tuesday August 15 that it would use drones and aircraft to secure the route of the water convoy, which will cross the department from August 18 to 21.

The organizers wanted to leave near Sainte-Soline to "pay tribute to the wounded and mutilated by police grenades". According to BFMTV, the procession was "declared to the prefectures concerned". The collective "Les Uprisings of the Earth", behind the demonstrations in March 2023, will be present in the convoy but without the role of organizer.