By Nathan Blouin
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The sun and summer temperatures of recent weeks have not only made the inhabitants of Villers-Bocage happy (Calvados). If it is always nice to get out of the usual gray, the plants, they look gray.
Or, at least, they would, if the municipality’s environmental service was not very supportive of them. They are thirteen to work daily for » roads, road signs, street furniture and… green areas” , Sure.
Its management has been completely redesigned in recent years, to adapt to the conditions imposed by the new environmental directives. “From now on, we are working much more in the long term, paying close attention to our water consumption. For example, we have greatly reduced the irrigation of mineral surfaces. We also made the decision to change the design of certain flower beds, replacing annuals with perennials.”
Because if the former die at the end of summer and need to be reseeded every year (in addition to the enormous water needs), the latter can re-bloom from roots that survive the winter. Also called “perennials,” they require monitoring and watering only for the first few weeks after planting. An effective way to save water.
Because if there is a resource that the service has been able to optimize, it is water. “We are always extremely attentive to our consumption and this, throughout the year. But even more so during periods of drought like the one that has just hit the territory between the months of April and May, without augur well for the summer.
Furthermore, “rains that arrive late in the season are not necessarily intended to fill the water table,” explains Tony Leconte. “For the tablecloths, the downpours like those of the last few days or the June rains will not be used. Recharging is done rather in autumn or winter. ”
Fortunately, the Water Agency is watching. In the event of a water level that is too low or worrying in the groundwater, it alerts the Prefecture, which then distills its measures to the municipalities. This was precisely what happened on Friday, May 20, 2022, when the prefect of Calvados put the department on a drought alert due to “the notorious weakness of the water resource” and called “the responsibility and in civic sense of all users for a rational and economical use of water. »
A change of mind
Nothing too alarming at the moment, although Tony Leconte notes “an increase in the number of alerts in recent years.” A fact that of course coincides with global warming, but also evolution mentalities
“We see that people are much more attentive and alert on this issue, we water the lawn less, we change cultivation practices for plants trying to set up urban forests to find a bit of freshness in the city… This is a problem known to all and everyone is trying to get involved to preserve our resources. »
His department tries to lead by example by using non-potable water from an underground reservoir to irrigate plants or their vehicles, or by running a rainwater harvesting system to irrigate the city’s greenhouses.
Examples among many others, rewarded accordingly by various labels witnessing the involvement of the municipality and its agents. leading the label florida city, which has also “adapted to the environmental trend. The juries will be sensitive to the aesthetics, to the flowering, to the approach, but also to all the environmental measures adopted such as late mowing, the management of green spaces, the revaluation of certain cultural practices, the reception of the public…”
A sign that mentalities there too are changing in the right direction.
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