Mediterranean gardens : a few consumer water practice
Looking to cooperate with
The Uzège-Pont du Gard territory has been involved with the LEADER programme since 2014. Its strategy is focused on three primary themes:
• sustainable tourism
• creative economy
• social cohesion
We want to launch our first cooperation projects in 2018. In line with our strategy, we would like to work on issues surrounding water use in the Mediterranean environment. Our goal is to raise awareness among individuals, professionals and local authority bodies of the importance of adapting and altering our behaviour so that water is used in controlled and reasonable ways for parks and gardens in a dry region.
Water in Uzège Pont du Gard: water is an historically important feature of our territory. For thousands of years, people here have harnessed water to underpin their activities, one example being the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Water has always been a key economic driver whose influence has shaped our landscapes, agricultural methods and lifestyles.
The Uzège-Pont du Gard territory is crossed by numerous waterways and a canal. The hydrographic system can be divided into four drainage basins. All waterways in the territory are essentially Mediterranean in character, resulting in marked differences in hydrology, with severe low-water levels in summer and powerful spate waters during periods of heavy rain.
Overall, irrigation is the main source of water extraction, accounting for 84%, followed by water for domestic (13%) and industrial (3%) uses. Continuing and intensifying public policy actions designed to cut water use and increase users' awareness of this issue is a major challenge facing the territory.
The main objective is to raise awareness of the garden’s water use in Mediterranean lands and find the ways to reduce it. Some actions could be:
• Create/lead modules/workshops about the advantages of the Mediterranean gardens suit the different target audience like professionals such as tree nurseries, landscape gardeners, famers, owners of gites, camp sites and hotels, as well as local government employees, residents and users (tourists), and environmental bodies at the biosphere reserve
• Create a brochure/deliverables about gardens suited to the dry Mediterranean climate (types of plants, watering, etc.) for the relevant audience
• Draft a good practice charter covering managed water use in gardens targeting local authority employees in the territory (similar to the “Ville Fleurie” ou “Zéro phyto” charters)
• Suggest, or conduct, experiments in market-gardening techniques that moderate water use and are suited to the Mediterranean climate
• Involve professionals in the water-focused reflection process: tree nurseries, landscape gardeners, communes, industrial companies, environmental actors, etc.
• Inform and raise awareness among different groups of people: professionals, residents and tourists
• Share with and learn from other territories in terms of water management/consumption and water consumption in terms of our specific Mediterranean situation
• Adapt our water consumption to our climate: types of plants, types of gardens, shifting attitudes to dry landscapes, etc.