Onema

The French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environnements

NewsLetter #7

Spring 2010

Responding to future challenges of water and aquatic systems

Editorial

Patrick Lavarde, General director of Onema

World Water Day on 22 March took on particular importance for Europe because it coincided with the very first reports by the Member States to the EU on efforts to restore the quality of water and aquatic environments. Onema provided for France the technical coordination required for this vast collective effort involving almost 1 200 people and 36 data bases. The deadline was met and France reported on time to the EU concerning the current status of water in the country. . Read more

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Report to the European commission on water status in 2009

In France, the chemical and ecological status is good for almost 45% of surface waters, whereas for ground water, the chemical status is good for 59% and the quantitative status is good for 89%. These data, made public on 22 March, World Water Day, shed light on water status in 2009. They were sent to the European commission in the report on implementation of the European water framework directive (WFD).. Read more
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Restoration of ecological continuity is essential to efforts to restore good water status

Damage to the physical characteristics of rivers endangers the goal of restoring the good ecological status of water by 2015. The main challenge, i.e. restore ecological continuity and river hydromorphology, will be met only by combining incentives and legal action. Read more
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New unit for research on the status of lakes

In light of the lack of knowledge on the status of lakes, whether natural or artificial, Onema and Cemagref have joined forces to create a specialised research unit in Aix-en-Provence.
The goal is to produce the knowledge required to restore the good status of lakes in compliance with the WFD. Read more

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Policing activities, a major factor in achieving good water status

On the Creuse river, inspections on hydroelectric installations resulted in citations and numerous injunctions ordering owners to ensure ecological continuity.
These examples show that inspections, coupled with administrative penalties and even criminal proceedings, but also funding for corrective measures, constitute one of the major techniques used to achieve good water status. Synergy between repressive measures and incentives is a key element in the 2010 plan to restore ecological continuity. Read more

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INTERVIEW

Interview with Marc Abadie, director of the Adour-Garonne Water agency

France just submitted to the EU the data and policies of the RBMPs and the programmes of measures set up for each basin in view of restoring good status for water and aquatic environments. What are the major issues for the Adour-Garonne basin? Above and beyond continued efforts against urban and industrial pollution, the main thrust to achieve good status in 2015 for 60% of water bodies in the basin will be a reduction in diffuse pollution of all types (agricultural, but also from towns, citizens and industries) and restoration of the natural functions of wet and aquatic environments on land and along coasts, severely impacted by disturbances to their hydrology and morphology.
More information

IN BRIEF

A national plan to save wetlands
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A national portal for wetlands
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French conference on biodiversity
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New network for data exchange and promotion of restoration ecology
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The Onema meetings - a new document collection
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Information meetings on aquatic micropollutants
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Initial eel-plan measures coming on line
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National information day on the restoration of ecological continuity
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A feedback manual on the hydromorphological restoration of rivers
Read more

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