Home - Mission - A Four Part Strategy

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  • 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? ...

  • An inventory of obstacles in rivers

    The goal of the ecological continuity project is to draw up an inventory of all obstacles blocking flows in all French rivers and to assess the degree to which those obstacles block the movement of species and sediment...

  • River temperatures subjected to close scrutiny

    Onema is in charge of setting up a national network to monitor the temperature of French rivers.The network, has three goals: determine the thermal regime of rivers; learn more on the links between temperature change and the dynamics of aquatic populations...

  • Verbatim

    Pierre Steinbach, engineer at the Centre - Poitou Charentes regional office, Pierre Steinbach manages the inventory and analysis of obstacles to ecological continuity for the entire Loire Bretagne basin

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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