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    -Bernard Guillemotonia \ Departmental territorial and maritime agency of the Landes department
    "There is extensive irrigation in the Landes department, which makes careful management necessary to preserve water resources...."

The Onde protocol to monitor low flows

Onde, the national protocol to monitor summer low flows, is now operational throughout continental France.

In each department from May to September, Onema personnel carried out monthly checks on flow levels among a precisely defined network of monitoring points. As a result and for the first time in France, monthly data on the hydrological situation were available. During a crisis, a second level of monitoring may be activated by the departmental Prefect or Onema personnel. Crisis monitoring may take place any time of the year and more frequently than standard monitoring. The goal of the monitoring system is to serve a double purpose, 1) establish a stable knowledge network on summer low flows and 2) constitute a management-aid tool during hydrological crises. It was made operational following a test phase in nine departments in 2011. The collected data are centralised by Onema and will be made available via an internet portal. They will also be published in the bulletins on the hydrological situation at the Eaufrance portal.

An example in Southwestern France

In the area covered by the Onema Southwest regional office, 493 monitoring points were selected, with an average of 38 per department. Standard monitoring started as planned at the end of May and continued beyond the normal period (until the end of November) in a number of departments particularly affected by drought. Special monitoring also occurred for crisis situations.

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