Institutional and technical cooperation

The purpose of institutional and technical cooperation is to share our experience of water management with other basin bodies. This cooperation targets developing countries, and, under the Water Framework Directive, the countries of the European Union.

Sharing know-how

In the form of special assignments, seminars, training courses, technical visits, alternately in France and in partner countries – formally established in partnership agreements or twinning agreements – the water agencies participate in their main areas of expertise:

  • the integrated management of water resources based on consensus-building between the stakeholders in the water sector
  • the water information system: the production and provision of data on groundwater, surface water and coastal water
  • establishing the environmental objectives of a river basin
  • environmental taxation: fees and bonuses
  • the policies of financial aid in terms of fighting pollution or protecting water resources
  • the actions of communication, training and organisation with quality assurance

The cooperation programmes are established on a case-by-case basis, depending on the needs expressed by each beneficiary country or body.

Managing transboundary waters

Institutional and technical collaboration includes relationships with neighbouring countries for the management of transboundary water tables or waterways, mainly for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

Thus, the management of large transboundary rivers such as the Rhine, the Meuse and the Escaut is very closely coordinated between the different neighbouring countries to develop joint water management plans that take account of the environmental issues of the States, such as those, for example, favouring biodiversity to enable salmon to swim up the Rhine to Basel.

Likewise, the management of Lake Geneva is performed by a French/Swiss commission, the CIPEL (International Commission for the Protection of the Water of Lake Geneva), in charge of monitoring changes in the quality of the water of Lake Geneva and of the Rhone River, contributing to the coordination of water policies regarding the Lake Geneva Basin and informing the general public. The water agencies are very involved in the work of these international commissions.

For example, as part of the International Moselle and Sarre Commission, the Rhin-Meuse Agency led operations in the implementation of the international management plan for this sub-basin, on behalf of all of the neighbouring countries.

Likewise, the Artois-Picardie Water Agency led the same operations in the International Commission for the Escaut River.



Examples of institutional collaboration
French/Bulgarian twinning on the economic aspects of the framework directive and fees.
Objective: supporting the establishment of Bulgarian management plans.
French partners involved: Artois-Picardie and Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agencies, OIE – May 2009-October 2010
Partnership agreement between the basin committee of Adour-Garonne and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) for the expansion of the capacities of local water management for the six districts of the northern zone of the West Bank.
Partners involved: Water Agency of Adour-Garonne and French Development Agency (AFD) – June 2008 – June 2011.
Institutional cooperation in the Balkans. The Water Agency of Artois-Picardie has cooperation agreements with Bulgaria, Romania and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Implementation of European directives or application of its tools.
Partnership agreement between the Water Agency of Loire-Bretagne and Vietnam for the development of a basin committee on The Dong Nai River (tributary of the Mekong) in connection with the International Office for Water