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Water resources - Preservation and management - Les dossiers d'Agropolis International
WaterresourcesPreservation and management Number 14
AGROPOLIS international agriculture • food • biodiversity • environment Agropolis International Agropolis is an international campus devoted to agricultural and brings together institutions of environmental sciences. There is significant potential for scientific research and higher education and technological expertise: more than 2 200 scientists in over in Montpellier and Languedoc- 80 research units in Montpellier and Languedoc-Roussillon, Roussillon in partnership with including 300 scientists conducting research in 60 countries. local communities, companies and regional enterprises and Agropolis International is structured according to a broad range of in close cooperation with international institutions. research themes corresponding to the overall scientific, technological This scientific community and economic issues of development: has one main objective– • Agronomy, cultivated plants and cropping systems the economic and social • Animal production and health development of Mediterranean • Biodiversity and Aquatic ecosystems and tropical regions. • Biodiversity and Land ecosystems • Economics, societies and sustainable development Agropolis International • Environmental technologies is an international space open • Food: nutritional and health concerns to all interested socioeconomic • Genetic resources and integrative plant biology development stakeholders in fields associated with • Grapevine and Wine, regional specific supply chain agriculture, food production, • Host-vector-parasite interactions and infectious diseases biodiversity, environment and • Modelling, spatial information, biostatistics rural societies. • Water: resources and management Agropolis International promotes the capitalisation and enhancement of knowledge, personnel training and technology transfer. It is a hub for visitors and international exchanges, while promoting initiativesWater resources: preservation and management based on multilateral and collective expertise and contributing to the scientific and technological knowledge needed for preparing development policies. 2
Introduction I n recent years, the recognised to offer cooperation in Montpellier in September 2008, Montpellier scientific and development prospects to all which then favoured the settlement community has continued its water sector stakeholders. Another in 2010 of the executive board of consolidation through a number important success is the creation of the International Water Research of research projects (funded by three research and teaching Chairs: Association (IWRA) on the Agropolis the French National Research (i) the UNESCO-labelled Chair campus. The first stake of this Agency, European Union 6th and “Membrane sciences applied to the Dossier is to give international 7th Framework Programmes, environment”, on water treatment visibility to the regional water French “Investissements d’avenir” by membrane processes, (ii) the scientific community on the programmes, etc.) and educational “Water for All” Chair in partnership occasion of the 6th World Water projects (“Water” Master’s degree, with the Suez-Environnement Forum, held in Marseilles, France, Masters courses, etc.) it has company, offering capacity building in March 2012. co-ordinated and successfully programmes for utility managers accomplished. A selection of in the developing and emerging This event has huge ambitions those projects is presented in this countries and (iii) the Chair “Risks since its objectives are not only toWater resources: preservation and management document. analyses of emerging contaminants take stock of the latest world-wide in aquatic environments” in developments in water management Among these projects, the most partnership with the Veolia and shared recommendations for emblematic success has no doubt company, focused on organic achieving sustainable development, been the involvement of businesses contaminants in water. but also to provide solutions to through the creation of a "Water" many issues remaining unresolved competitiveness cluster with an The aim of the Dossiers d’Agropolis and new challenges likely to arise. international scope. Its mission is to International is also to support The regional scientific community, coordinate the actions the French the projects led by the Languedoc- engaged in the event, provides its “water” clusters from the three Roussillon region’s scientific contribution. regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, community. For the previous Dossier, Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur and the challenge was the organisation Thierry Rieu (AgroParisTech, 4 Midi-Pyrénées. Its leadership is of the XIIIth World Water Congress Centre de Montpellier)
T he latest UNESCO world report on water resources was already characterised by a rather alarming tone. For instance, itstipulated that "despite the vital dimension of water, this The regional scientific community has the skills required to play a leading international role and to provide answers to some of the society’s concerns. For this purpose, it has developed proven observationdomain is plagued by a chronic lack of political attention, capabilities on which research is being based:poor governance and insufficient investment", and that the Universe Sciences Observatory OREME, the"action is urgently required to prevent a global crisis". Environmental Research Observatories OMERE, AMMA- CATCH, OHMCV and H+, the KARST ObservationYet, it is estimated today that global annual withdrawals system, etc. Recently, the regional scientific communityamount to 3,800 billion m3, representing only 25% has received significant equipment subsidies fromof useable resources. But such a relative abundance the French Ministry of Research, thus reinforcing itsdoes not reflect the huge disparities in the geographic position as a leader in the field of spatial information fordistribution of this vital resource. Indeed, some regions environmental purposes.are already facing hydric stress (less than 500 m3/year/inhabitant), while others are hit by disasters caused by The expertise of regional teams in the field ofchronic overabundant rainfalls. Such inequalities raise all underground water has long received the highestkinds of difficulties and challenges. acclaim, especially in the key area of karsts. This research field is particularly strategic for the MediterraneanGiven the global population growth, water demand coastal regions as these contain almost 60% of theincreases by 64 billion m3 each year. Water needs are water resources exploited.becoming increasingly high in relation to strategicdecisions and associated commitments being taken in The regional research community has become aareas such as agriculture, economic development and reference for its research on surface water. Although theenergy production. fundamental issue of the transformation of rain water into running water – and hence into a resource availableThe disturbances induced by climate change also have an in different forms (infiltration, runoff, storage) – is aimpact on the hydrological cycle. Indeed, in many regions core concern for hydrologists, numerous other issuesof the world, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate are also addressed by the community. One such issue isChange (IPCC) forecasts all point towards longer the use of water in agriculture, deemed to be essential,droughts and/or more frequent floods. Such disturbance especially within the Mediterranean context. The issuefurther aggravates the degradation of ecosystems, of floods, mainly considered from the viewpoint ofalready facing growing anthropogenic pressures. extreme events (destructive floods and rainfalls), is another key topic to which many experts are devoted.From the health point of view, 80% of the diseasesaffecting developing countries are water-related. This is Finally, other approaches are future-driven. Usingdue to insufficient access to drinking water and lack of available climate scenarios based on varyingsanitation infrastructures, owing to both poor funding environmental, economic and demographic hypotheses,and poor political and strategic decisions. these aim at assessing water resources.This alarming water situation is further compounded Clearly, the region hosts a wide range of skills andby the general public’s growing environmental concerns expertise. These are all called on to tackle the challengesand international and global thinking about water issues. of tomorrow in terms of sustainable management of“Blue Gold” is slowly emerging as one of the most water resources, which is such a vital issue for thecritical stakes of the 21st century, with the growing societies and every person in the world.looming threat of “water wars”. Éric Servat (UMR HSM)Within such a context, it is more than ever importantto control as completely as possible the resource, in Water resources: preservation and managementorder to feed the reflexion on how to better manageand govern water. It is therefore necessary to beable to locate, identify, evaluate and mobilise waterresources. These are major stakes. They call for theanalysis, understanding and modelling of all water cycleprocesses, be they natural or man-made. 7
Water resources: identification, functioning, mobilisation Main teams UPR EAU/NRE Water: New resources and Economy (BRGM) 14 scientists Director: Jean-Christophe Maréchal firstname.lastname@example.org Biogeochemistry, of Polytech’Montpellier. Besides, the Presentation page 16 whole HSM staff is involved in training extreme events, from the science degree to Ph.D. levels. UMR EMMAH Mediterranean Environment underground water and Agro-Hydrosystems Modelling Much of its research being based (Inra, UAPV) and hydrological cycles on observation, the laboratory is a 40 scientists in Mediterranean and member of the Universe Sciences Director: Liliana Di Pietro Observatory OREME (see page 13). It email@example.com tropical regions also participates to several observation www.umr-emmah.fr Presentation page 14 systems (MEDYCISS, OHMCV, AMMA- The Montpellier HydroSciences Joint CATCH, OMERE), while playing a UMR GM Research Unit (JRU) – UMR HSM leading role in the development Montpellier Geosciences (CNRS, UM2) (CNRS, IRD, UM1, UM2) is devoted of the KARST Observation System. 89 scientists to research in water sciences covering In addition to its water chemistry Director: Jean-Louis Bodinier a broad range of domains from and microbiology equipment, the firstname.lastname@example.org biogeochemistry to extreme events, laboratory have access to other major email@example.com including underground water and the technical facilities: the large regional www.gm.univ-montp2.fr hydrological cycle. technical platform for the “analysis of Presentation page 10 trace elements in the environment” UMR HSM HSM carries out most of its scientific and the collective laboratory for the Montpellier HydroSciences activity in the Mediterranean and analysis of stable isotopes in water. (CNRS, IRD, UM1, UM2) tropical regions, in four scientific 57 scientists fields: HSM strength relies on its involvement Director: Éric Servat firstname.lastname@example.org Biogeochemistry, contamination in a number of national and www.hydrosciences.org agents and health. international projects, its extensive Presentation page 8 Karsts and heterogeneous network of collaboration with UPR LGEI environments: hydrogeology, research laboratories and institutions Industrial Environment hydraulics and transfers. worldwide, giving the lab a high level Engineering Laboratory Climate, environmental changes of international recognition. (EMA) and modelling of their impacts on HSM also works with public partners 45 scientists water resources. (DRE: Regional Directorate for the Director: Miguel Lopez-Ferber Hydrological cycle mechanisms, Environment, AFSSET: French Agency email@example.com surface-atmosphere transfers and for Environmental and Occupational www.mines-ales.fr/LGEI Presentation page 12 interactions. Health Safety, local authorities: communities of municipalities, UMR LISAH Laboratory for the Study of In addition, the laboratory develops joint basin organizations, etc.), Interactions between Soils, four cross-disciplinary technical private consultancy and engineering Agrosystems and Hydrosystems approaches: (a) hydrodynamic companies (SDEI, BioUV S.A., SOMEZ, (Inra, IRD, Montpellier SupAgro) modelling and couplings; etc.). HSM has also filed several 34 scientists (b) hydrosphere tracers; (c) modelling patents, especially in metrology,Water resources: preservation and management Director: Jérôme Molénat methods: assimilation, spatialisation and has developed “professional” firstname.lastname@example.org and sensitivity; (d) information software tools, particularly around www.umr-lisah.fr Presentation page 15 systems. data management. Besides, the study of organic contaminants is one of UMS OREME HSM is highly involved in research- HSM’s fields of excellence. It has set Mediterranean Environment Research oriented training and education. up, in partnership with the company Observatory (CNRS, IRD, UM2) The training courses provided by the Veolia, a training and research chair 3 scientists sensu stricto + 6 linked units laboratory attract French and foreign devoted to the “Risks analyses in Director: Nicolas Arnaud students alike (especially students relation to emerging contaminants in email@example.com from developing countries): “Water” aquatic environments”. Moreover, HSM www.oreme.univ-montp2.fr Master’s degree, “Health Engineering” is involved in the “Water” and “Local Presentation page 13 Master’s degree, “Water sciences and Vulnerability and Risk Management” 8 ...continued on page 10 technologies” engineering degree competitiveness clusters. •••
Water resources: identification, functioning, mobilisation Located in Montpellier on the increasing constraints, i.e. climate Several researchers are involved in Mediterranean shore, LISAH runs change, anthropogenic pressure, teaching for vocational training, collaboration programmes with socio-economic evolution, urban for the “Water” Master’s degree and several Tunisian and Moroccan growth, etc. The following topics others Master’s and engineering higher education, research and are more specifically studied: courses related to water. training institutions: Hassan II (i) characterisation of the structure Agronomy and Veterinarian Institute and functioning of complex aquifers EAU/NRE has developed a strong in Rabat; National Institute of (karst, fractured ground, volcanic partnership with the French-Indian Research on Rural Engineering, environments) in order to assess Research Centre on Underground Water and Forestry in Tunis; National their potentialities; (ii) development Water. This joint BRGM-NGRI Institute of Agronomy in Tunis; of modelling and decision support (National Geophysical Research National Engineering School in Tunis, tools for managing these aquifers and Institute) laboratory, based in National Centre for Cartography forecasting impact of global changes; Hyderabad in the south of India, and Remote Sensing. It also works in and (iii) development of active has developed research on base partnership with public and private resource management methods aquifers in tropical regions using stakeholders in the field of water and (recycling of treated waste waters, the SOERE (H+) observation soil resource management. artificial recharging of water-tables, system. The lab develops tools for inter-seasonal storage and controlled managing aquifers that are severely overexploitation). impacted by agricultural practices Hydrogeologists and The development of economic (irrigation pumping, pollution) and economists working approaches needed to evaluate water by climate change. on water resource resource management scenarios at the basin scale. Research efforts EAU/NRE specifically develops management focus on the economic evaluation of applied research activities directed incentive programmes and resource to local authorities, water agenciesWater resources: preservation and management The Water/New resources and management policies as a function and industrialists. Several projects Economy Internal Research of uses, the economic optimisation have led to the development of Unit – UPR EAU/NRE – belongs to of resource management plans methodologies to study mineral the BRGM Water Department. Its via cost-efficiency analyses, the water deposits and their industrial permanent staff comprises eight weighting of benefits and drawbacks management (i.e. Nestlé Waters and hydrologists and six economists between economic development Danone Eaux France). Moreover, whose research efforts focus on and environmental policies, the EAU/NRE is involved in the water resource management. EAU/ comparison of approaches (analysis “Water” competitiveness cluster. NRE’s activities comprise two main of costs avoided), the contingent scientific focuses: evaluation based on enquiries and The development of alternative the elaboration of medium and16 solutions to conventional water long-term water use scenarios resources, that are suffering from (prospective analysis).