The strategy of the French basins to achieve good water status by 2015
In France, the water resources are managed in an integrated manner, in river basin districts. The river basin districts are delineated by the dividing lines of the surface water.
12 basins have been delineated:
- 7 basins in Metropolitan France: Adour-Garonne, Artois-Picardie, Corsica, Loire-Bretagne, Rhin-Meuse, Rhône-Méditerranée and Seine-Normandie
- and 5 overseas basins: Guadeloupe, Guyane, Martinique, Reunion and Mayotte.
The strategy of the French basins to achieve good water status by 2015, which is the objective set by the Water Framework Directive of 2000, comprises plans for managing water in major river basin districts, and the Water Development and Management Master Plan (SDAGE).
These Water Development and Management Master Plans are prepared and validated by the stakeholders in the water sector, within the main orientations of national and European water policies, in basin committees fostering debate and local consensus-building in the spirit of the French Grenelle Environment policy.
The mission of the water agencies and overseas water offices is integrated into the strategy of the Water Development and Management Master Plans, which define, for each river basin district, the basic orientations for well-balanced management of the water resources and the water quantity and quality targets. The objectives of the Water Development and Management Master Plans constitute a French commitment to the EU authorities.
The Water Development and Management Master Plans 2010-2015 came into effect on December 22, 2009, following a vast development and consensus-building process (including with the general public) led by the basin committees.
The Water Development and Management Master Plans 2010-2015 are supplemented with operational programmes (action plans). The implementation of these programmes of measures, in the form of regional and local action plans, are managed by two authorities: the water agencies and the State.
The scope of the Water Development and Management Master Plans is broad. The urban planning documents (regional coherence schemes, local urban plans, communal plans etc.) must be compatible with their basic orientations and objectives, meaning that they must not feature provisions that conflict with the Water Development and Management Master Plans. The same holds true for the administrative decisions in the water sector, and those concerning facilities classified for the protection of the environment.