the price of water will “of course” increase in the Pyrénées-Orientales, warns Christophe Béchu

“We are faced with a resource that is rare and with underinvestment,” explains the minister who presents his “resilience plan for water” in Canet-en-Roussillon on Wednesday.

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franceinfo – with France Bleu Roussillon

Radio France


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The Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, May 6, 2024. (ANDRE PAIN / EPA)

The price of water will “Of course” increase in the Pyrénées-Orientales, warns the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, Wednesday May 22 on France Bleu Roussillon.

The minister must detail his “water resilience plan” in Canet-en-Roussillon (Pyrénées-Orientales) during the day. In particular, he will present seven development projects to adapt the department to the scarcity of water. These projects will receive ten million euros in state aid, i.e. “50% of the financing”, in particular to intensify the reuse of wastewater.

At the same time, investments will require an increase in the price of water in this department. “We are faced with a resource that is rare and with underinvestment, describes Christophe Béchu. By making a little effort, but doing it consistently and over time, you give yourself an extremely important investment capacity.”

“We have problems combating leaks, justifies Christophe Béchu. In France, on average, one liter in five of water is lost through leaks. In many municipalities [des Pyrénées-Orientales]we are not at one liter in five, we are at one liter in three, with a network which is failing and in which there has not been sufficient investment overall in recent years.”

According to him, the increase in water prices is therefore necessary and logical. “We have to be aware of work of this type. They build pipes for 50 to 60 yearscontinues the minister. So it’s not a question of doing everything in one year, it’s a question of having a rhythm of renewal which will allow you tomorrow to stop throwing away a resource which is becoming more and more precious.”analyzes Christophe Béchu.

The minister believes that elsewhere “in France, we have a slightly higher price for water. We are [dans les Pyrénées-Orientales] overall 30% below the prices that exist in the rest of France. You have to understand that this may seem like a small amount, because we are talking about a few euros per household per year. But in the end, these euros are the ones that allow you to repay the loans you take out over long periods and they allow you to invest in the network.

According to the minister, this price increase will avoid “eventually finding yourself with cuts or difficulties”.

“I would like to believe that everything is essential, but there is not much more essential than water.”

Christophe Béchu, Minister of Ecological Transition

at franceinfo

A 20 to 30% increase in prices “That’s a few euros per month.” “I’m not saying that it’s nothing, I’m saying that in the end, if we have to go buy plastic bottles in the nearby supermarket because we no longer have water in the tap and that we have not made the investments, in terms of purchasing power you feel it passing more than the fact of going to do work to preserve a resource that is life, concludes Christophe Béchu.

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