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INRA and Onema strengthen ties

Marion Guillou, president of INRA, and Patrick Lavarde, general director of Onema, signed a framework agreement to reinforce the cooperation between the two organisations in the fields of sustainable development and the restoration of aquatic ecosystems. The agreement covers work to produce new knowledge and develop innovation. Over the next three years, three topics will receive special attention, 1) hydrology, water resources and hydromorphology, 2) biodiversity and the operation of aquatic ecosystems, 3) agricultural nonpoint-source pollution and the status of aquatic environments. It was also agreed to create a joint research centre on managing aquatic ecosystems in agricultural areas.

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Action plan for knowledge in the overseas territories

The Ecology ministry and Onema invited organisations working in the overseas departments to a workshop held from 22 to 28 March 2012. Representatives from the Water agencies, departmental environmental agencies, the marine nature park in Mayotte and various national organisations (National museum of natural history, BRGM, Ineris, Ifremer, Aquaref, Irstea, etc.) met to discuss and exchange ideas on work in progress or work required to support WFD implementation, adaptation of scientific methods to evaluate ecological status in the overseas departments, management of water resources, training, etc. This meeting filled out an initial project to program necessary work for the part of the national framework for water data containing data specific to the overseas territories that is now being set up and should be operational in 2013.

Contacts:
christian.jourdan@onema.fr
couprie@mnhn.fr

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A close look at the vulnerability of coastal aquifers

BRGM work, funded by Onema, on the consequences of salt water entering coastal aquifers in continental France and the overseas territories due to climate change served to draw up a status report and to make forecasts. From Languedoc-Roussillon to Poitou-Charentes, from north-eastern Brittany to Calvados, from Reunion to Guadeloupe, the quantitative measurements and the simulations of a one to two-metre rise in ocean levels revealed vulnerable zones for fresh groundwater confronted with salt contamination by the salt-water wedge. The results constitute a risk map showing possible hot spots along all coastal areas and a number of lagoons submerged by sea water. These results will have to be taken into account for development projects in the various regions and for drinking-water abstractions.

Contact: pascal.maugis@onema.fr

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Methods guide on describing pressures for the 2013 basin status report

The methods guide to describe the pressures weighing on rivers was distributed to the concerned water stakeholders in the various river basins for the work to update the basin status reports and publish them in 2013. The guide is just one of the results produced by the vast collective project to monitor pressures. Managed by the Ecology ministry and coordinated technically by Onema, the guide was drafted over two years by a working group bringing together the Ecology, Agriculture/Fisheries and Health ministries, the six Water agencies, the basin organisations, research organisations (Ineris, BRGM, Irstea, INRA) and Onema. A dozen methods were created to describe four major types of pressure, 1) nonpoint-source pollution, 2) water abstractions, 3) industrial and urban pollution and 4) hydromorphological alterations. The guide is supplied with a second guide drafted by the Ecology ministry on the status-report update procedure.

Contact: gaelle.deronzier@onema.fr

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Meeting on waterways and ecological continuity

In conjunction with Voies navigables de France and with the support of the Water agencies, the Ecology ministry and the CETMEF, Onema organised on 29 and 30 May a meeting on waterways and ecological continuity. Over 100 participants from very different fields (waterway managers, local governments, public entities, associations, hydroelectric companies, engineering firms, scientists) gathered to discuss the many aspects of ecological continuity, notably longitudinal continuity in rivers and how to reduce the impact of barriers, and transversal continuity between the normal river channel and the flood channel. Efforts to improve the effectiveness of solutions to recreate longitudinal continuity remain a central factor in current work and the participants made a number of concrete proposals above and beyond the necessary technical and financial partnerships.

Contact: camille.barnetche@onema.fr

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New tools for the observatory on water and sanitation services

The observatory on water and sanitation services now offers three new functions to assist local governments in managing their services and to improve data accessibility for users.

- A mobile application that enables users to access the annual indicators of services by selecting a town or simply geolocating their position. The application may be downloaded at http://www.services.eaufrance.fr/mobile.

- Using the remote-report function, local governments can automatically generate their report on prices and the quality of service (RPQS) after entering their annual data via the observatory site.

- Using the interactive price map, internet users can simply click the map of France to access the overall price of water in each town as well as the prices for drinking water and sanitation services.

Contact: eric.brejoux@onema.fr

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