Where water is called ‘blue gold’
For well over a century, water has gurgled through a web of gutters and channels on Cécile Messelis’ farm, flowing into an underground reservoir and earthen troughs to nourish crops sown across terraced fields.
In 2020, that stream began to falter. This year, it stopped altogether: Messelis’ fields now crackle in the sunlight; her stone cistern echoes with thirst.
On this small farm in the upper reaches of Seillans, a commune in the Var region of southern France, the fields are bare but for the parched remnants of the last harvest. Normally, aubergines, tomatoes, peppers and melons thrive here. Now, the fields lie fallow.