A water plan for the sustainable management of the blue resource

According to the State directives, Saint Martin is working on the issue of its Water plan.

The ministers of Environment and Overseas territories announced on 26th of April the issue of an action plan for the water and sanitation services in Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, The Reunion, Mayotte and Saint Martin.  Each territory was invited to set up a strategy in this field so as to improve water management. The prefecture and Collectivité management gathered on Tuesday, October 4th to discuss with their partners (agence régionale de santé, agence française pour le développement, caisse des dépôts et consignations).

“The plan is highly interesting for us”, Louis Fleming asserted, as president of the Etablissement des eaux et de l’assainissement de Saint-Martin (EEASM). “Our sewage network is in a very bad state and this plan will allow us to benefit from additional aid to conduct the improvement of these pipes”, he continued.

However, the ambition of this water plan is wider. “We must have a global management of the water resources”, declared René-Jean Duret, the territorial counsellor representing the president Mrs Aline Hanson in the meeting. “Indeed, we have a reduced vision of water management, i.e. desalinating seawater, sourcing and sanitation. We have to change this narrow prism, Prefect Mrs Anne Laubies says. She asserts it is also important to “provide means to work with the EEASM”.

If each and everyone recognizes that "huge investments are needed in Saint-Martin", the stakeholders consider that they have to think about the means that are needed to effectively make those investments. "We should not only focus on investment", François Cola Belcour, the expert of the Water interministerial Mission of the Conseil Général de l’Agriculture, de l’Alimentation et des Espaces Ruraux says. “We have to conceive investments as sustainable management solutions. We need to find well-balanced investment policies involving sustainable solutions and financial techniques, he added.

This Tuesday, the prefecture and the Collectivité discussed the strategic orientations and guidelines of the upcoming agreement. A steering committee will adopt the strategy and the agence française de développement will draft a framework agreement. The financial resources will then be defined.



Fanny Fontan