Improve resource management
The increase in human consumption of water due to increasingly intensive uses (drinking water, irrigation, industrial uses, hydroelectricity) has led to vast increases in draw-offs in aquatic environments. This situation, in conjunction with a series of droughts over the past few years, has affected river flow rates and can cause severe low-water levels in rivers and overconsumption of groundwater that threaten correct operation of aquatic environments and the long-term availability of water resources. Climate change may worsen this phenomenon. According to the latest research, the future may hold significant reductions in average summer and fall flow rates as well as a clear and generalised increase in the severity of low-water situations.
The WFD requires quantitative monitoring of surface waters and groundwater in order to understand the operation of aquatic ecosystems, to manage droughts and to detect the effects of climate change over the long term.
In order to develop and make available to decision-makers new tools capable of acquiring, in real time, qualitative and quantitative flow data, Onema has mobilised the scientific community and funds research on the topic. Onema territorial units contribute to quantitative monitoring in addition to State services and BRGM. They also check draw-offs made by various users, notably farmers, and inspect hydroelectric installations to ensure that minimum downstream flow rates are maintained for the development of aquatic life.