Home - Mission - A Four Part Strategy

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    • A map of continuities and discontinuities in France

      A list of almost 50 000 obstacles, including dams, locks, weirs, mills no longer in operation, etc., on French rivers has been drawn up to date. With an array of partners, Onema is currently drawing up a list of obstacles.

    • Onema in the national PCB action plan

      Following the detection of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) levels higher than the authorised thresholds in the flesh of certain freshwater fish, the public authorities launched in the beginning of 2008 a major national action plan.

    • The water information system

      Over the years, water stakeholders have produced vast quantities of data on water resources and aquatic environments.

  • Observatory of public water services

    Creation of an observatory
    on the performance of public water
    and water-treatment services

    How well do the 30 000 public water and sanitation services in France perform? How much are water consumers billed in each town? What is the quality of the service? ...

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Manage the WIS-F and produce data

“ The combination of research, development and the information system is the starting point for a win-win relation between researchers and the people in the field. The goal is to prepare the design of future methods and observation systems by serving as the interface between information-system management and the scientists who are the most apt to make use of the data, notably via modelling. By combining these various elements in a national agency that can profit from strong local contacts and key partnerships, France has set up an interface to meet the challenge of an R&D sector needed to assist public decision-making and action in coming to grips with the future issues in the water sector.”
Patrick Lavarde, Director of ONEMA

A central part of the mission lies in gathering information on the status of water bodies in France for reports to the European commission and in assisting in setting priorities for water-management policies.

A valuable observation network

Via its personnel spread around the country, Onema collects, manages and uses data on: - hydrobiological parameters (piscicultural aspects) of continental surface waters and their hydromorphological status; the protected species at risk/the native species in danger and habitats. Standardised methods ensure the consistency of collection techniques and of the data itself, notably concerning sampling of populations and diagnosis of the biological status of environments.

Water Information System

Onema provides functional management of the national Water Information System (WIS-F) in a close partnership with the river-basin authorities. It organises information gathering and use, notably in the framework of the Water Information System for Europe (WISE). To ensure the consistency of water data, Onema establishes rules for the various partners on information systems and methods. Onema designs the evaluation methods for water status in view of formulating restoration strategies.

More on the national Water Information System

An observatory on the performance of public water and water-treatment services

Onema is currently setting up a national observatory to evaluate the performance of these services and report to the public and elected officials. The observatory will complement the National water information system that Onema is in the process of organising

More information on the observatory