Drought and progressive water prices: a village in the Loire has already taken the lead

Saint Etienne



The town of Saint-Julien-Molin-Molette ignores the water plan announced Thursday, March 30 by Emmanuel Macron. For three years now, the municipal team has been modernizing and making its water network efficient. From July, the more they consume, the more the cubic meter of water will cost the inhabitants.
She says it with a smile: Macron stole my idea!. Céline Elie is mayor of Saint-Julien-Molin-Molette in the Loire. A town of 1100 inhabitants, located in the Pilat massif. Céline Elie speaks with a direct tone, which reveals her pragmatism.
Waste hunting
In 2020, the year in which her mandate begins, she takes charge of a project to modernize the town’s water network. The inhabitants are fed mainly by the source of Mantel, then by the river of Ternay if the flow of the source is insufficient. Work needs to be done. Since maintenance has not been carried out for decades on the sources of the Mantel, the network must be resumed to eliminate leaks and waste. For three years, the municipality has spent at least €30,000 each year to restore its water network.
It’s gonna be worse than last year
But these works are not enough to overcome the lack of water. In the summer of 2022, the situation is critical. The flow of the source is 8m3 per hour instead of 30. We must act. The municipality orders a delivery of 150m3 of water by tank truck. For 2023, Céline Elie plans at least five deliveries. We know it’s going to be worse than last year. In January 2022, the flow was 50m3. It is half less than the same period in 2023.
Differentiated pricing based on consumption
To save water, the town hall displays a green, orange or red flag on its facade depending on the level of water available. In August 2022, red flag. The population is playing the game. We have gone from 200m3 to 160m3 of water consumption per day.

The color of the flag hung on the facade of the town hall indicates the relationship between water consumption and the flow of the source.

© Town hall of Saint-Julien-Molin-Molette

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