Water resources and rising water levels on the Ile de Sein . river

After the Gulf of Audierne, the Terre au Carré team landed at Ile de Sein and meet residents committed and determined in the fight against the consequences of climate change. On the pier, we were awaited by Mayor Didier Fouquet, François Spinec, a recently retired fisherman and member of the local company Ile de Sein Energies, and Serge Coatmeur, keeper of the last lighthouse on Ile de Sein and founding member of the Island of Sein Energies. Nicolas Pouvreau, storm surge expert at SHOM in Brest and Géraldine Berrehouc, water and sanitation specialist at the Finistère Department Council, accompany us on a wandering journey to meet the fighting Senegalese fight for their island.

Didier Fouquet has been mayor of Ile de Sein for two years, a small island in Finistère that stretches for more than two kilometers and winds like an inverted S whose width varies from 30 to 500 meters. Sein Island is a fragile little island in need of protection. The mayor was waiting for us at the exit of the boat and took us on a tour of his island. “We’re on an island where tourist traffic is limited by the number of seats on the boat. There’s a steady stream of departures and returns. Depending on the season, we go from 150 to 1200 people, but boats leave the harbor in the evening and we feel isolated, we see our island because of the nesting swifts, the small fragile dry rock walls We pay Attention to natural heritage, wildflowers , beach, water In particular, the island of Sein has a power plant that runs on about 400 tons of fuel oil and has photovoltaic panels installed at the ferry terminal or at the town hall. % of Sein’s electricity. Sea water is desalinated because there is no groundwater”. Sobriety is the tagline on this very small, low water consumption island. “We are also expecting a wind turbine to be operational by 2023.” He hopes that his island will be self-governing by the end of 2030

Serge Coatmeur, the keeper of the Sein lighthouse for 20 years, is a first-hand witness to rising waters and global warming: “Our island is like a fortified castle and the sea is the enemy. attack”. He had lived through storms, attacks by the sea, and seen water flood his lighthouse. In his lighthouse, surrounded by his many books, he oversees navigation but he is also responsible for looking after generators that run on tons of fuel oil, “a source of energy.” produces greenhouse gases like Co2″, was and still is “a clear contradiction to the concerns of the islanders” according to Serge Coatmeur. Worried, he explained that “his island is a postcard but behind the lighthouse there are tanks, pipes and noise”… Why not envision a sustainable building? Why is the island of Sein not an innovative laboratory for renewable energy development and towards energy efficiency? He is currently the Chairman of the Local Association IDSE, island of Sein Energies a simplified joint stock company – SAS – established in July 2013, participatory local and social Whose main goal is to provide clean energy and regenerative for the inhabitants of the island of Sein. IDSE hopes to switch from 100% fuel oil to 100% renewable and local energy with a real project in the territory. To replace fuel oil with renewable energy on the Ile de Sein, a number of legal actions have been taken against the EDF company and against the State.

Fisherman Francois Spinec has just sold his boat “Patience” and he is one of the historical activists of the Ile de Sein. After 60 years of drifting and fishing at sea, he has just sold his boat, his work tool, to a younger man. He is a light fisherman, is a steadfast sinner, and has always been active in this direction. “We’ve seen climate change here, we’ve known for a long time that the sea level is rising, the floods are getting stronger, the low pressure is getting closer and closer, we’ve seen the sea break during the 2014 storm, it’s a rainy season,” he said. east with successive storms, our island was submerged … “For 60 years this Senegal by birth has witnessed an evolution:” We have large rocks ending in the edge of the dykes so the sea is rough and the beach is also invaded by pebbles”. Activate its ecology? During the Torrey Canyon oil spill, an oil spill contaminated the sea, the shoreline, and the crabs he trapped. Since then, he has supported advocacy and in 2013 he was involved in the founding of Ile de Sein Energies. “We can build a lot of projects if we become a laboratory for 100% renewable energy transition.” Strong, patient and committed, Francois Spinec never gives up and wants to go all out in the fight against the EDF monopoly on his island.

Nicolas Pouvreau is an expert on sea level in Fake, The Navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service and sea level observations are part of its historic operations. “For Ile de Sein, we don’t have continuous measurements like in Brest, but what is measured in Brest is essentially the same as on Ile de Sein,“. The first modern tidal observations were made in France at the end of the reign of Louis XIV and were part of Newton’s work on gravity, which provided the scientific basis for tidal phenomena. One of the oldest tide gauges in the world was installed by Chazallon in the military port of Brest in 1846. Since then, the observatory has undergone regular maintenance and modernization, with only temporary interruptions. period after the bombings of 1944. Tide gauges continuously measure sea levels and are essential for tidal calculations but also for climate change research or tsunami warnings. The mining of these observations shows that sea level has increased by about 30 cm in 300 years. Between 1700 and 1900, the sea level in Brest rose by 5 to 10 cm, while since 1900 the increase has exceeded 25 cm, with the average increase in recent years being more than 3 mm per year. five.

Géraldine Berrehouc is a geologist and engineer in charge of potable water management for the sanitation and drinking water service of the Finistère’s Departmental Council which monitors with the greatest attention the state of water resources in Finistère. Historically, Finistère’s problems concerning drinking water were based primarily on questions of water quality but also on questions of quantity, especially in summer and autumn. But in recent years, climate change has highlighted these effects and called into question the accessibility of this vital resource. “The Breton islands and islands in general are very vulnerable, which is a fairly simple fact because there is less surface area and therefore less water potential. However, they are incubators of ideas. ideas for tomorrow and they can envision the future: they are a laboratory where one tests, evaluates and finds ingenious new ways and good ideas for water management”. Sein Island is special because it has no rivers or groundwater, but is the only island that is responsible for desalination. Groix Island was placed in a drought crisis on June 7. Project Water for tomorrow, launching in 2021 aims to provide knowledge and understanding of the impacts of climate change on water resources in Brittany. The aim of this project is basically to better understand the consumption of drinking water from the public network, better understand the current performance of Brittany’s water sources and finally to find solutions to ensure secure future resources while withdrawals tend to grow (note that unlike most areas of France, the ground in Breton is less favorable for rain penetration

Report by Anaëlle Verzeaux: tomato greenhouses around Cléder. With Anaëlle Verzaux, we are currently on our way to the north of Finistère, in the village of Cléder, together with Michel Thouvenot, Robert Kerleroux and Jean-Luc Bourbon, who, through their association Environment and Heritage, denounced humanism. of the giant greenhouses growing tomatoes and strawberries in Finistere.

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