Le Figaro Nice
It's time to turn off the tap. Or at least reduce the flow. In these times of drought and when the lack of water is already visible between the cracked dirt lines of the Alpes-Maritimes, the arrival of the summer period raises fears of water stress. Or more simply a water supply lower than demand. To mitigate a future disaster, several municipalities have already taken restrictive measures. In Caussols, in the hinterland of Cannes, for example, the municipality has decided to no longer welcome new market gardeners on its territory to preserve the resource. Others focus on awareness and prevention, relying on the resilience of their constituents.
Still others are adopting a more radical strategy. It's about hitting where it hurts, the wallet in this case. The Communauté d'agglomération du pays de Grasse (CAPG) has decided, for the first time, to set up a special water tariff throughout the summer period. Since last Thursday and until September, the fee has therefore increased by 20%. The mayor of Grasse and president of the agglomeration, Jérôme Viaud, prefers to speak of a "differentiated pricing". He explains: "We cannot talk about an increase in the price because we lower it the other eight months. At the end of the day, over the year, there is even an overall decrease in the cost of water."
According to simulations carried out by the CAPG, with this new "summer-winter" fee system, a two-person household living in an apartment and consuming 80 m3, will see its bill fall by 1.8% per year; While a second home, whose occupants consume 66 m3, half of which in summer, will have a bill of 3.8% higher. "Behind this initiative, there is an educational desire to raise awareness among large water consumers through a more virtuous approach to the resource," continues the mayor of Grasse.
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"Rather, it's about sending back a message about the urgency of changing the way water is consumed."
Jérôme Viaud, Mayor of Grasse.
Still, among those who consume the most, especially to water their garden and fill their pool, many do not wait until after their water bill. An observation that the mayor acknowledges: "It is rather a question of sending a message on the urgency of changing the mode of water consumption. Too many people are unaware, or even refute, about climate change. How then to explain that the level of Lake Saint-Cassien has dropped by two meters this year?" he asks.
Grasse is not the first CAPG municipality to set up a seasonal water tariff. Mouans-Sartoux and the Régie des eaux du Canal Belletrud have also integrated it. In the same dynamic, with the departmental council and the Joint Union for Floods, Development and Water Management (SMIAGE), the agglomeration community carries out the "water savings challenge" project. An information and support system that aims at "an evolution of domestic uses of water that will take the form of awareness-raising actions, training, coaching and experiments at the user's home," says the CAPG in a statement.
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A new device that will be presented Tuesday evening to the inhabitants of the Pays de Grasse at the Palais des Congrès in Grasse. 50 volunteer families will be able to be coached and experiment with solutions to reduce their water consumption.