The French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environnements

NewsLetter #21

Quarterly - Summer 2015

Special "Climate Change" issue


The assessment presented in the last report by the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) and that contained in the report titled Climate in France in the 21st century leave absolutely no doubts.Climate disturbances caused by human activities will affect water resources and aquatic environments by modifying precipitation levels, evaporation, the availability of surface water and groundwater, and the biodiversity of aquatic environments as well as impacting numerous economic sectors.
Elisabeth Dupont Kerlan,
Onema general director
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Water resources and climate change

Climate change will impact water resources in France. Groundwater levels, river discharges and the surface area of wetlands could all be affected..

There is no longer any doubt that human activities are causing climate change. "One of the clearest indications is the rise in sea levels, approximately 3 millimetres each year", notes Jean Jouzel, research director at the CEA institute and vice-president of the IPCC* scientific group, before adding that France will not be able to avoid the consequences.
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High risk of local extinction of fish species

Fish are an excellent indicator of water quality, but are also among the first to signal and suffer from climate change. Evolutionary changes in certain fish species have already been noted. Over the past three decades, rapid and major changes in the climate have been observed. These disruptions affect ecosystems, but also the species living in those ecosystems and particularly fish which are found in virtually all surface waters.
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Climate change and uncertainty in water management

When formulating management plans for water resources, it is necessary to take into account the uncertainty weighing on climate change and its impacts. To that end, science has a central role to play in guiding and justifying decisions, and assessing the results.
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Understanding the impact of abstractions on water resources

The main human activities in France require the abstraction of 28 billion cubic metres of fresh water each year. But what exactly lies behind that number? In a context of climate change creating tensions around the use of water resources, that question takes on particular importance.
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You will find all publications on the site, in the Resources section.

Freshwater fish and climate change. Current situation and adaptation strategies

Knowledge for action series
Aquatic environments constitute ecological treasure houses, represent a unique cultural heritage and provide society with important economic resources. What will be the consequences of climate change on the hydrology of aquatic environments? How will aquatic ecosystems and organisms react? What can be done to limit their vulnerability? Fish are emblematic life forms in rivers and an important resource for humans. They are one of the lifeforms that will potentially be impacted by climate change.
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Mapping techniques and hydrogeological models to characterise seawater intrusion in french coastal aquifers and asses the potential impact of sea-level rise

Knowledge for action series
Coastal aquifers contain large quantities of groundwater essential for both human activities (drinking water, farming, industry and tourism) and for the environment (littoralwetlands, coastalmarshes and lagoons fed by coastal groundwater). Along the 5 500 kilometres of coastline in continental France, 95 superficial and 17 deep coastal aquifers have been identified. In the islands (French overseas territories), aquifers are generally all coastal. Partial intrusion of seawater into coastal aquifers is a natural phenomenon. The degree and range are variable and depend on the geologic features of the underground reservoirs. Intrusion may be amplified by pumping of freshwater and/or by a modification in the sea level, for example in response to climate change (Werner and Simmons, 2009). Natural seawater intrusion, whether coupled with an anthropogenic influence or not, risks contaminating the freshwater contained in the underground reservoirs. This document presents, via examples, a number of tools that can be used to qualify seawater intrusion and the potential impact of a sea-level rise on salinity levels in coastal aquifers.
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Special "Climate change" issue

3 questions for Michel Dantin, European MP and president of the Rhône-Méditerranée basin committee.

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Discussions between science and policy on water and climate
Onema, the Water agencies and the Ecology ministry organised a day-long meeting last February in Paris on water and climate change in order to promote informed political decisions and better understanding between scientists and policy makers.
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Effects of climate change on North Atlantic salmon
The research carried out by Onema at the biological centre on the Bresle River in NW France has provided information on the effects of climate change on salmon populations along the northern French coast.
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Identifying control factors for water temperature, the Loire example
For a number of years, Onema has contributed to a research project on river temperatures, using the National temperature-monitoring network set up by Onema in 2008.
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Monitoring aquatic biodiversity in the Sarenne torrent
Research teams from Irstea have estimated that the Sarenne glacier, near Grenoble, will have disappeared in 11 to 30 years.
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Management tools for local governments
DRIAS, The WiKlimat national platform,The Climate-Adapt European platform...
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30 novembre-11 décembre – Paris Paris Climat 2015
voir le site de la COP'21


Méli Mélo, a funny web series on water
Scientists, comedians from the successful Kaamelott series and water professionals have joined forces to combat clichés and promote good practices for the sustainable management of water. The result is Méli Mélo, a web series and internet site that addresses water issues in a humorous, yet serious manner. Topics include Is water too expensive?, Are medicinal residues in water dangerous?, Should everything go into the sewer system? and Will there be enough water in France? With a number of other institutional partners, Onema supports the project managed by Bernard Chocat (INSA Lyon), GRAIE (Rhône-Alpes research group on infrastructure and water) and Média Pro.
The first four episodes in the series are titled At that price, Rise and shine, Long live free grass and Allais go.
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Méli Mélo and the Climate change

It may be seen at

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