Onema

Home - Mission - Manage the WIS-F and produce data

  • Users of water information

    Public institutions and organisations The State, water managers, water users, experts and citizens all require water information. They need to know the aquatic environment characteristics on which their activity can impact.

  • Onema is the national coordinator for the WIS-F

    The Water and biodiversity directorate at the Ecology ministry sets the general guidelines for the WIS-F. Onema provides technical coordination and manages the steering system. Assisted by an interbasin coordination committee and technical groups, Onema sets up the national action plan and is in charge of project programming and supervision. Further responsibilities of Onema concern the financing, the establishing methods and reference systems, the managment of national databases and the many tools involved in processing, using and disseminating the data, as well as reporting to the European commission.

The water information system: from water-data
production to public availability / the Eaufrance portal

The WIS-F | Aims | Data availability | Users

The WIS-F is the system that organises the production, collection, storage, use and dissemination of many different types of data on water, aquatic resources and their use. All producers of water data contribute (see box). Data production is organised on the national and lower levels (river basins, regions, departments). The basic data are obtained via measurements and observations in the field, as well as samples of water, sediment and species that are then analysed in laboratories. Measurements are carried out regularly in the framework of inspection programmes on clearly identified sets of locations around the country, thus making it possible to compare the data over time.

Other methods, such as investigations, inventories, declarations, reports, studies or administrative documents are used to collect many other types of basic data in a reliable, regular or at least sufficiently long-term manner. Finally, the WIS-F also includes data produced by other information systems, notably socio-economic, health, weather and risk-prevention systems. Once collected, the basic data are stored in centrally managed databases.Thanks to special tools, these basic data can be processed, sorted, subjected to spatial processing or calculations, etc. to obtain more useful information. Graphic presentations of the data such as maps, tables or histograms enhance the value of the WIS-F and help to better understand how aquatic environments operate.

Toward a National framework for water data (SNDE)

To produce objective and comparable data, complying with regulatory requirements, the WIS-F imposes on data producers the use of standard methods. The reliability and traceability of data are ensured by a quality-management system spanning the entire data chain, from production to dissemination. The application of common reference systems made available by SANDRE, the French National Service for Water Data and Reference Datasets Managment, is the means to standardise data, to ensure the compatibility and consistency of data definitions and thus facilitate data exchange between producers, databanks and users. In light of the national and European context, notably the implementation of the Water framework directive, French public authorities wanted to optimise, rationalise and pool the management of water data. To that end, they assigned to Onema the task of setting up the National framework for water data (SNDE), the planning tool that organises and lays out the role and responsibility of each data producer, schedules the necessary work and lines up the necessary financing.