The Dard petrifying waterfall, fanning out into a characteristic mare's tail at the top of the blind valley of Baume-les-Messieurs (Jura, France, 2007). © BRGM - François Michel

BRGM and the Water Framework Directive

Implementing the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), adopted in 2000 to achieve a good status for European waters by 2015, is one of the BRGM’s major work programmes.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD), adopted in 2000 and transposed into French law in 2004, establishes a framework for Community action on water management. The goal is to achieve a good status of water by 2015.

Methodological guides for WFD implementation

BRGM’s support to the State for WFD implementation began at a very early stage, through its expert studies on qualitative and quantitative groundwater management.

It supports the State in defining methodologies that meet the demands of the Directive as regards the delineation of water bodies, their characterisation and their surveillance (target piezometric levels in relation to usable water volumes, quality limits) and economic assessments of measurement programmes.

These methodological guides are used by the water agencies and the DREAL (regional offices of the environment, planning and housing) for WFD implementation and to develop water management masterplans (SDAGE). SDAGEs have been established for each hydrographic basin, together with measurement programmes.

BRGM’s strengthened role in supporting public water policy development

The BRGM’s long-standing public service mission on water was taken further in 2007. BRGM is now the operator for quantitative groundwater monitoring, data production (through the national piezometric network) and data processing (quantitative assessments of water bodies).

The State has also entrusted BRGM with management of the ADES databank, which holds all data on groundwaters in France.

BRGM is also preparing Version 2 of the French hydrogeology reference platform (BD LISA), a reference cartographic tool for all public and private players in water management.

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