Discourse and Practices of Wetland Drainers in Southern France during the first Part of the 17th Century : A Policy of Land Management ? In 1599, Henry IV promulgated a law in favor of draining wetlands in France with the objective of repopulating humid areas and increasing grain production. By their distribution and their dimensions in Southern France, these drainage projects appear to be a form of land management. The « drainers », for the most part Parisian financiers close to central power, took advantage of the very favorable legal framework furnished by the monarchy, which was careful to aid drainage operations as well as assure their legal support. Promoters of drainage also sought personal enrichment in the short term as well as increasing their landed wealth. As a result, southern drainage projects show that the success of land policies resided in the convergence of State and private interests.