The PSE d'Eau de Paris starts off on a straw hats

After two years spent creating and preparing the implementation of a Payments for Environmental Services (PES) system on the supply areas of its catchments, Eau de Paris can welcome in 2020 the concrete take-off of these agricultural aid for water protection.
Thanks to the validation of a state aid scheme (No. SA.54810) by the European Commission on January 13, 2020, Eau de Paris immediately began to deploy its scheme with volunteer farmers. Today, 5 pioneers are already engaged in a seven-year contract for a conversion to organic farming and around fifty other farmers should soon follow them in their approach in favor of water resources, some in conventional, some in organic. All committed to reducing leakage of nitrates and phytosanitary products towards groundwater tables and rivers. Farmers are engaged using a dedicated IT tool, accessible at, which facilitates the selection, examination and control of files.
Home page of the Paris Water PES filing and instruction platform
The signing of these new contracts, which should take place soon, will conclude an exciting 2020 campaign, during which the commitment forecasts were largely exceeded. With nearly 8,500 hectares on the verge of being committed in its territories, including more than 3,000 in that of the sources of the Vine, the PSE initiative promises to be a success. The total budget planned for the device, of € 47 million, could even be used before the end of the official opening period.
The first aid has already been paid. With these new commitments, from 2020, more than five million euros will be devoted to the transition of farms to a system that protects water on the pilot site of the CPES de la Vigne project. While 9 of them are in a conventional field crop system, 6 others are in a livestock system (dairy farms, for example). Finally, 3 provide for a conversion to organic farming (field crops and livestock).
This PSE aid economically secures the change of agricultural system which results in the sharp reduction in the use of phytosanitary products (or the abandonment in the case of organic), the reduction of nitrate leaks (with an objective of results on nitrogen residues in the soil), by increasing the area in meadows (true natural filters) or the diversification of cover for example. The PSE d'Eau de Paris is also intended as a link in the agricultural dynamics of the territory. By signing a contract with the management, farmers agree to share their practices and experience with their colleagues, to participate in collective animation and emulation around the development of sustainable agriculture in the territory.
While the health crisis tinged with gloom at the end of 2020, this result is very positive news for the collective work to protect water resources carried out by the CPES project. Eau de Paris will also attempt to assess the benefits produced for biodiversity in agricultural settings.
F. Nataf, Eau de Paris coordinator and B. Collumeau, one of the first organic farmers involved in the PSE
The next stages of the project:
  • October-November 2020: signature of contracts for farmers in the engagement phase for the 2020-2021 cropping season
  • January 2021: opening of the 2021 engagement campaign for the 2021-2022 growing season
  • From the end of 2020 and continuously: monitoring the effects of PES on water quality
  • Throughout the project: monitoring compliance with farmers' commitments.

Organic sunflower involved in the PSE in Lorrez-le-Bocage-Préaux (77)