Farmers have to face many constraints regarding manure management, with strict regulations regarding storage and spreading practices and land pressure due to urbanization. This context increases the risks of nitrate pollution from manure and chemical fertilizers. Adapting farming practices to respond to these constraints is mandatory for the sustainability of farming, but requires major investment and development of new competencies.
Mineral water has to meet very strict quality standards for purity, composition, stability and nitrate levels. 60 % of surface land over the Evian spring’s infiltration area (impluvium) is used for agriculture. Evian has a long-standing history of involvement in the region’s development and wants to support farmers and local authorities in managing the challenge of nitrate pollution risk reduction.
With the support of the Danone Ecosystem Fund, Evian (SAEME), the Communauté de Communes du Pays d’Evian and a group of farmers co-created the “Terragr’eau Methanisation” project.
The project involves building a methanization unit to turn cattle manure into biogas for local villages and fertilizers for grasslands. A dedicated cooperative of farmers will manage the fertilizer spreading operation, in order to eliminate any risk of excessive amount. These collective mode of operation will also reduce fertilization costs and support sustainable agricultural development.
Social & business impacts
This project fosters the sustainability of local farming. By preserving the quality of drinking water, it avoids the use of water purification treatments for rural communities. Terragr'Eau also promotes local development by creating 11 jobs.
Evian protects its impluvium area by managing nitrate risks and preserving grasslands which are the main infiltration surfaces. Terragr'Eau will serve as a role model for the other Danone mineral waters.
The project promotes sustainable farming practices in the region and contributes to reducing nitrates in agriculture, protecting the long-term quality of water. Terragr'Eau also initiates the production of renewable energy through biogas injection in the gas network.