Resource protection : Eau de Paris launches its own agricultural aid scheme
Eau de Paris goes further in its support for changes in agricultural practices in its catchment areas. For the first time in France, a water service has set up a system of financial aid for farms, specifically designed to protect its catchment areas. This project was validated on 13 January by the European Commission. It will be co-financed by the Seine-Normandy Water Agency and Eau de Paris. Spread over approximately 146,000 ha, including 87,000 ha of agricultural land, about 200 farms should be able to benefit from it, in four areas that feed into the Paris water catchments.
Since its creation, Eau de Paris has been committed to water management based on the general interest. Near its springs, the public company carries out preventive actions for farmers. They combine technical support, financial support and development of the sectors to support farms that protect water quality.
The validation by the European Commission rewards the work carried out since 2018 by the teams of Eau de Paris to build and validate this unprecedented project. The specifications and associated remuneration were drawn up in conjunction with several technical partners (Seine-Normandy Water Agency, agricultural experts, INRA, etc.) and the farmers themselves, in a "payment for environmental services" logic, a logic adopted in the framework of the Water Assises.
The aim of the aid scheme is to help farms to adopt more sustainable farming systems, for example by limiting the use of inputs and encouraging the development of organic farming and grassland areas. The aid will be granted in the form of subsidies, part of the remuneration being conditional on the achievement of a performance target for nitrate concentrations in water (compliance with the "drinking water" standard on plots). The measures are defined according to the type of farm: arable crops, livestock farming, organic farming, protection of highly sensitive areas. The contracts, from 6 to 7 years, are long enough to install perennial changes.