The democracy of the water in the basins

The democracy of water and the participatory development of the strategy for implementing water policy have been applied in an original manner in the large French river basin districts for more than 40 years through the basin committees, for which the water agencies provide secretarial services.

The basin committees are deliberating bodies that unite all the stakeholders (local governments, manufacturers, farmers, the State, consumers, NGOs etc.) from each river basin district (seven in Metropolitan France). They determine the strategy for managing the water and the aquatic environments of the basin. They vote on the water agency’s programme in each river basin district and the rate of fees, within the limit of the rates set by law.

A similar but modified organisation (basin committee, water office) exists for overseas French basins.