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       The Knowledge for action series provides professionals in the water and aquatic-environment sector (instructors, students, scientists, engineers, managers, etc.) with information on recent research and science-advice work.

Contributions of hydro-economic models to water management in France

         Economic analysis plays an increasingly important role in managing water resources and aquatic environments. For example, it can assist water managers in determining the economic value produced by various water uses in a river basin. It can also contribute to identifying the most cost-effective programmes of measures in view of reaching good status of water bodies. Unfortunately, economic studies are often carried out in parallel to hydrological studies, i.e. the hydrological functioning of the basin and the dependant socio-economic processes are not analysed in an integrated manner. As a result of this partitioned approach, numerous interactions are not included in the models, e.g. the relations between activities located upstream in the river basin on the one hand, and water availability and quality for other uses downstream on the other.

Hydro-economicmodels are particularly useful in breaking through the partitions because they can assess the impact of different measures and management policies on water uses, resources, aquatic environments and the overall economic effectiveness of hydrological systems. Thesemodels are already used in the United States, Spain and the U.K. to explore options and assist in decision-making and management of water policies. In view of WFD (Water framework directive) implementation and the set objectives, Onema and BRGM decided to present the experience acquired abroad to French water managers. Using concrete examples, this document shows howhydro-economic models can assist in dealing with three major problems confronting the managers of water resources.

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        Authors :
Marine Grémont (BRGM), Corentin Girard (UPV), Julien Gauthey (Onema) and Bénédicte Augeard (Onema). With the collaboration of Jean-Daniel Rinaudo (BRGM) and Nina Graveline (BRGM).

       Contact: Julien Gauthey and Bénédicte Augeard

March 2015