The relations between endocrine disruptors in the environment and human health have raised a number of questions because a causal link between exposure and an effect via an alteration in hormonal functions has not yet been clearly demonstrated.
Evaluating the good ecological status of water resources and aquatic environments, anticipating the effects of climate change, assessing the impact of human activities, determining the long-term risks of emerging pollutants, etc. are all major challenges for which new knowledge and innovative technologies are required. Sustainable management of water resources and aquatic environments must therefore be based on high-level research targeting directly useable results.
Onema acts as the "ways and means" agency in that it stimulates French public research, sets priorities for research on water and ecosystems, build partnership with research organizations and funds research targeting directly useable results in the public interest. With the necessary scientific and technical personnel to direct the research, it devotes a significant part of its budget (12%) to R&D work. It participates in European networks and contributes to their development.
Onema produces tools to diagnose, manage and restore aquatic environments. It leads a network of experts who assist in negotiating and in implementing water policies. It designs the media used to disseminate technical knowledge and organises training courses.