At the beginning of December in Ribaute-les-Tavernes, the Rhône-Mediterranean-Corsica Water Agency and the Gard Chamber of Agriculture signed a new cooperation contract with a view to more sustainable water management. Lionel Pourquier and his vines have already benefited.
The Rhône-Mediterranean-Corsica Water Agency and the Gard Chamber of Agriculture have a long-standing relationship. “The first agreement between our two entities dates back 32 years”, recalls Magali Saumade, President of the Consular Chamber. This spirit of partnership was again expressed at the beginning of December in Ribaute-les-Tavernes, near Alès, on the occasion of the signing of a new cooperation contract with a view to a more sustainable and compatible management of water.
“Agriculture and water have a lot in common. It is therefore quite natural to work with the agricultural industry and support it towards the agro-ecological transition.”, said Élise Garcia, service manager at the Danish Water Agency. That day, the Saumade-Garcia tandem was welcomed to the land of Camp Galhan, an area with 35 hectares of vines and a handful of hectares dedicated to the production of asparagus and sweet onions. Lionel Pourquier is the owner and did not wait for this partnership to form “more efficient water management”.
But by taking advantage of the expertise of an adviser from the Chamber of Agriculture, with whom he is now entering into a partnership, the winegrower has installed connected tensiometric probes in his vines, which indicate a certain amount of data, including the force that must be exerted on the plant to extract the water in the earth. “Above a certain threshold, it triggers irrigation”, says the farmer. And to add: “I get the news twice a day on the computer. It allows you to see what is happening on the ground. It sets trends. »
If he was not in advance a supporter of high technology, the vintner acknowledges a water saving of about 30% since the installation of this new system. A significant gift after a particularly dry summer characterized by strict watering restrictions.