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Run checks on resource use





Chronic pollution or acute incidents, rivers running dry, obstacles to ecological continuity, work likely to destroy spawning grounds or wetlands, or to modify the physical characteristics of rivers, poaching, etc. are all examples of alterations to aquatic environments and represent a significant threat to the goal of achieving good water status, set by the WFD. It is essential to effectively implement regulations on water and aquatic environments and to run inspections in order to restore and protect aquatic environments from damage and meet the goal of good water status.

Onema cooperates with State services, under the authority of the prefect, in two manners. First, it provides the prefect with technical support and opinions on the impact of development projects and on any requirements or measures likely to reduce or compensate the impact. Secondly, in conjunction with the legal system, Onema personnel run inspections in the field to check compliance with regulations on water uses and the preservation of aquatic environments, note any offences and assess any damage caused to the environment. Inspections are carried out in the framework of the interservice inspection program established on the departmental level by the prefect and targeting zones involving high-priority issues. The French government must report to the EU commission on the inspections carried out as part of the basic measures in the programmes of measures included in the river-basin management plans (RBMP)

Under the management of the Onema regional offices, approximately 650 persons in the local offices spend part of their time carrying out inspection activities in the field. This police work for water and aquatic environments is done with the State services in conjunction with other inspection bodies, such as ONCFS, the national parks, the inspection service for special installations, etc., to reinforce environmental-protection polices.

  • Establishing closer links between all environmental police forces The water police is a central factor in achieving the ambitious goal of 66% of surface water bodies with good ecological status by 2015. One of the essential missions at Onema is to enforce regulations on the preservation of aquatic environments by focusing inspections on WFD issues, reinforcing cooperation between police services and reporting to the EU commission on the work done and the results achieved.