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Improve resource management





Forward-looking studies indicate that drought and water scarcity will increase in the future, due to greater demand for water combined with climate change, a trend noted by the European commission in its Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s water resources published at the end of 2012. In France, the 2011-2015 national plan for adaptation to climate change proposes measures to ensure sustainable management of water resources, taking into account all uses, including environmental uses, in compliance with the objectives of the European Water framework directive.

To learn more about the vulnerability of water resources to climate change, Onema has mobilised the scientific community by funding and managing studies on the subject. Projects include determining the impact of climate variability on the hydrologic regimes of rivers, mapping the vulnerability of groundwater to climate change, setting up a new piezometric network to monitor the impact of climate change on groundwater, etc. The agency is also in charge of establishing a national observatory on low-water levels and creating a national database on water abstractions to monitor changes in demand for water. It is working on coordinating the piezometric networks and on optimising the existing monitoring networks (meteorology, hydrology, water temperatures) that are required for water management.

Finally, Onema local offices contribute to quantitative monitoring of surface waters, in conjunction with the other State services and BRGM. They also check abstractions made by various users and inspect hydroelectric installations to ensure that minimum discharges are maintained downstream for the development of aquatic life.