City, Country: Adour-Garonne basin, France
French partner submitting the project description: Adour-Garonne Water Agency
Project Owner: Adour-Garonne Water Agency
French partners: Regional councils of Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine, Regional Department of the Environment, Development and Housing for the basin, ONEMA, Department of Food Agriculture and Forestry of the Midi-Pyrénées region (DRAAF), Departmental Council of Haute-Garonne, SMEAG and EDF.
Dates of project: 2010-2015
A few words on the project…
The Adour-Garonne Water Agency is facing changes regarding its basin since the last few decades, because of climate change and other pressures. In order to adapt to these changes, the Agency started with better knowing them...
Background or General project description
The Adour-Garonne Basin Committee, a participatory decision-making body, today faces strong changes and uncertainties when establishing policy guidelines. Climate change, demographics, energy issues and changes to agricultural policy are variables which influence and render difficult decision-making in the field of water, particularly where priorities for action and the implementation of clear governance are concerned.
Today, it seems that water is already a fragile resource- figures estimate the water deficit for the entire basin at 250 million m3 and this fragility is expected to increase in coming years.
The Adour-Garonne Water Agency is a public body, which was set up following the introduction of the French Water Act in 1964. Its role includes the prevention of pollution and protection of water and aquatic environments.
Faced with such challenges, the Agency and Basin Committee sought to further analyze the dominant trends and provide a full picture of the situation to water authorities and operators:
• in spatial terms: by more accurately establishing changes to the water supply and demand balance;
• in terms of the future: by looking forward over the next 40 years up to 2050.
It was in this context and to meet requirements of the Water Development and Management Master Plans that the Agency launched the project: "Garonne 2050 - Prospective study of water needs and resources at the Garonne basin level".
The findings of the study were used to develop proposals for the 2016-2021 Water Development and Management Master Plans of the basin, for which consultation is currently underway. The findings suggested that climate change issues should be taken into account in water planning and management by:
• improving knowledge on the impact of climate change on the resources and vulnerability of areas and evaluating the effects of various possible adaptation scenarios;
• acquiring effective tools for monitoring phenomena which cause structural imbalance, water scarcity and drought;
• developing water-saving approaches and ensuring a more efficient use of water;
• supporting strategies for development and land use that are consistent with the resources available locally.
Strengths of project
The Garonne 2050 project is particularly useful because it takes into account future scenarios for climate change, demographics, consumption, and behavior at the basin level. It is by fully analyzing these risks, in a process combining stakeholder involvement and modeling, that the most accurate estimation of the needs of a given area can be obtained.