Onema

The French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environnements

NewsLetter #15

Spring 2013

Responding to future challenges of water and aquatic systems

Editorial

François Lacroix, Deputy general director of Onema

The European commission has presented its action plan to safeguard water resources in Europe, also known as the blueprint, to the European parliament and the first deadline for the water framework directive (WFD) in 2015 is fast approaching. That is why this issue of our newsletter is largely devoted to Europe. The WFD is, in many ways, a basic component in the raison d'être of Onema.
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The European blueprint to safeguard water resources

Given the vast amount of work still required to safeguard European waters, the European commission has launched an action plan. The initial results reveal the great diversity of situations and confirm the need to pursue the efforts undertaken.
The European authorities recently indicated that 53% of water bodies should reach good status by 2015, the first way point in the WFD programme.
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Inspections, a prime tool in implementing water policy

The European commission has noted the insufficient implementation of environmental regulations in the Member States and stressed in the Blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources the need to reinforce requirements in terms of inspections and monitoring. Inspections and monitoring enhance the chances of meeting environmental objectives, particularly concerning the quality of water and of aquatic environments. In France, Onema plays a central role in monitoring and policing aquatic environments and their use.
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Joint programming for European water research

France and 18 other European countries have grouped their efforts to prepare a joint, multi-disciplinary research programme on water. The objective is to pool and coordinate the research launched by the countries in order to ensure the supply of high-quality water in sufficient quantities. A preliminary strategic research programme was adopted on 30 May 2013.
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Environmental police now reformed

The reform of the environmental police entered into force on 1 July 2013. The three main components are a simplification and unification of inspection procedures, the creation of the position of "environmental inspector" and a balancing and reinforcement of penalties.
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Publications

Onema highlights in 2012

The fourth edition of the Onema highlights presents a selection of the results produced over the year 2012. The document throws light on the missions undertaken by Onema and on the daily work of its personnel. A number of partners also contribute their opinion on the work done together.

Document available here

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Updated collection of data sheets on river restoration

The collection of data sheets on river-hydromorphology restoration, published for the first time in 2009 by Onema, the Water agencies and the Ecology ministry, has been updated. The collection, designed as a highly practical, technical guide, is intended for water stakeholders and local partners to assist in managing river-restoration projects. It comprises a set of data sheets presenting feedback on real projects that constitute solid arguments in favour of restoration projects. The update consists of 23 new data sheets on project feedback, approximately 20 updated sheets, an expanded bibliography with new technical references and new information on restoration methods.

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Bioassessment tools to assess the ecological status of aquatic environments

Meeting Recap series Following a brief review of bioassessment principles and the basic concepts guiding its use in the WFD context, the document presents the latest data on the development of bioassessment methods in France.

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Diagnosing and restoring aquatic biodiversity

Onema Meetings series This document presents the symposium organised by Onema on "The outlook for managing aquatic biodiversity in rivers and lakes", that brought together over 200 participants in Paris in November 2012. Following a status report on biodiversity in aquatic environments in France, the meeting went on to discuss a range of innovative tools for monitoring and restoring biodiversity in a context of global climate change.

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Micropollutant file on the internet

Now available on the Onema site is a file presenting the main progress in R&D work funded by Onema and the Water agencies on monitoring, risk assessment and management of chemical pollution in aquatic environments. Since 2008, Onema and the Water agencies have established a programming system for R&D projects involving numerous research teams in public research institutes (BRGM, Irstea, CNRS, Ifremer, Ineris, INRA, LNE, etc.) and several universities.

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INTERVIEW

Interview of Marta Moren-Abat, DG Environment of the European commission

More information

IN BRIEF

The SEEE tool to assess water status
WFD implementation is based on the assessment and diagnosis of environmental status.
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Symposium on chemical contamination in aquatic environments
On 17-18 June 2013, a symposium on contaminants and pollution in aquatic environments was organised by Onema in Paris, with the backing of the Ecology ministry and scientific and technical support from Ineris.
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New salmon plan for 2013 to 2018
The Ecology ministry tasked Onema with devising a plan to implement the recommendations made by NASCO (North-Atlantic salmon conservation organisation) for 2013-2018, in conjunction with the partners involved in salmon management.
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New Onema regional director for the South-West region
Hervé Bluhm is the new Onema regional director for the South-West region. He replaces Lucile Grémy.
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Water-policy audits and assessment
Some 15 audits and assessments of water policy are likely to have an effect on Onema.
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NoAdeme call for projects on water and innovative ecotechnology
Ademe has made a call for projects in view of providing funding for designers of innovative ecotechnologies who want to have their technology formally tested.
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AGENDA

4-6 November 2013 – Lille

Third international WFD conference

The third international WFD conference will be held on 4-6 November 2013 at the Scientific centre of Villeneuve d’Asq. It will address the impact of climate change on water supplies and water quality.

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18-20 September – Paris

Polldiff’Eau, a symposium on nonpoint-source pollution organised by ASTEE and Onema

Agricultural nonpoint-source pollution is one of the main causes of the degradation of water bodies in France and Europe. How can management be improved? What are the tools and methods now available to water managers to effectively counter the pollution? The first edition of the national symposium, PollDiff’Eau 2013, will present the methods and tools developed to improve our knowledge and enhance assessments of water status in order to ensure effective protection of water abstractions and the establishment of valid buffer zones.

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