Glossaire de A à Z


Aarhus Convention

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Convention signed in Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) dealing with access to information, public participation in the decision-making process and access to justice regarding environmental issues.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Abstraction protection zone

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Surface on which water seeps or streams to feed a water resource currently used for drinking water supply or likely to be used in the future, whose protection is an important issue, and where soil management methods are important to achieve the quality objectives set by the river basin management plan (SDAGE).

Source
According to Rhine-Meuse Water Agency

Abstraction supply zones

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens technique

Area on which the water that soaks into the ground supplies the abstraction for drinking water.

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for the Agriculture

Abundance

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Quantitative parameter for describing a population. The complete quantification of a fauna or flora population is usually impossible. By extension, it means a number of individuals in a given category: population, recruitment, stock, relative to a time or surface unit.
Source
According to Ifremer

Abyssal plain

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Flat expanse that covers the bottom of the oceans, at the level of the abyssal floor at an average depth of 4.000 meters. The abyssal plain corresponds to 80% of the total ocean surface.
Source
according to the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Biodiversity and Nature Conservation of 2017

Accidental pollution

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
As opposed to "chronic pollution", it is a pollution characterized by unpredictability about: the time of the accident, the place of the accident, the type of pollutant, the amount spilled, the circumstances of the accident, the consequences of the accident.
Source
According to Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency

Acclimatised species

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun
Species that has managed to settle permanently in a geographical area that is not its own.
Source
according to MNHN

Accumulated precipitation

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Accumulated precipitation height at a location over a given period.
Source
according to METEO FRANCE

Acid rain

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Anthropogenic air pollutant which is dissolving in moist air and falling back in a liquid or solid form on plants, soils, water and minerals. It is called acid when its pH is less than 5.6. The main sources of these pollutants are: industry, thermal power stations, domestic heating and cars emitting sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Source
According to Ifremer

Activated sludge

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens technique

Biomass of microorganisms used for treating wastewater from their pollutants (mainly organic matter). Microorganisms are free, suspended in the wastewater, kept inside an aeration tank, and feed on the pollutants. Then, the separation of activated sludge and water occurs in a clarifier: a part of the sludge is put back into the aeration tanks, while the other part (corresponding to the increase of stock) is discharged.

Source
According to FNDAE

Activated sludge filter

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Biological wastewater treatment in which a mixture of wastewater and suspended organic matter is agitated and aerated. The activated sludge is then separated from the treated wastewater by secondary settling, and then returned to the aeration tank or eliminated in the form of residual sludge.
Source
According to CEN

Active population

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Population regrouping the employed (also called labour force) and unemployed people.
Source
According to INSEE

Active substance

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Molecule of natural or synthetic origin to which the pesticide effect is attributed.
Source
According to Ineris

Adapted Global Biological Index

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Index for assessing the biological quality of the water of a river through an analysis of macro invertebrates, adapted to the specificities of large and deep rivers, where the IBGN protocol (Standardized Global Biological Index) may not always be strictly respected.
Source
According to AFB

Additional monitoring

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Control of surface waters, as part of the water status monitoring programme, listed in the Register of protected areas : intakes of drinking water intended for human consumption (more than 100 m3/day on the average), water bodies of species habitat and protection areas (which are included in the operational monitoring programme when they may not meet their environmental goals).

Source
According to AFB

Administrative Basin Commission

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens réglementaire

Commission established in each basin or group of basins, chaired by the basin coordinator prefect and composed of prefects of regions, prefects of departments (administrative divisions), heads of regional State centres in charge of environmental issues, the regional director for the environment who acts as basin delegatee and paymaster of the area where the basin committee has its home office, as well…

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Admissible/acceptable daily intake (ADI)

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Amount of chemicals that a man or an animal can swallow per day, during his/its life, without any appreciable risk to his/its health. Values are especially established for food additives and pesticide residues whose presence in food meets technical requirements or that are necessary for the protection of plants.
Source
According to Ademe

Adsorption

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Penetration of a substance through a barrier for exchange with the organism.
Source
According to BRGM

Affordability

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Relative significance of the cost of public water supply and sanitation services (production, conveyance and distribution of drinking water; collection, conveyance and treatment of wastewater) in the available income of consumers. This criterion is to be taken into account, e.g. when defining an overall price policy for public water supply and sanitation services.

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment

Agenda 21

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Action Plan for the 21st century focusing on sustainable development. Agenda 21 was adopted by the countries signatories of the Rio de Janeiro Declaration in June 1992. Its main functions are to alleviate poverty and social exclusion, to produce sustainable goods and services and to protect the environment.
Source
According to Rhine-Meuse Water Agency

Aggregation bias

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Bias induced during an investigation, when the numbers of users of several sites are added while the overall improvement of environmental quality will not bring the same benefits at each site.
Source
According to Kenneth McConnell (economist)

Agri-environmental grants

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun
Financial accompanying measure, achieved within the framework of the agro environmental and climatic measures (MAEC), offered to farmers to encourage them to turn to an agriculture being more environment-friendly. This financial aid has to be approved by a regional committee, and its payment implies acting in accordance with a precise mission statement, in relation with the performed changes. Its amount is estimated through the calculation of the additional costs, or by the loss of income caused by the agro environmental practices.
Source
According to Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Chamber of Agriculture

Agri-environmental measure

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Measure for taking greater account of the environment (water protection, etc) in agricultural practices, by encouraging: (i) farmers to limit the use of fertilizers and pesticides; (ii) the destocking of livestock to mitigate pollution by cattle effluent; (iii) farmers to adopt practices that improve the environmental quality of rural areas or the maintenance of abandoned lands; (iv) setting aside farmlands over 20 years for ecological purposes; the launching of Sustainable Development Plans (SDPs) on an experimental basis in 1993, to globalize agri-environmental aid and other development assistance. Agri-environmental measures (AEMs) result in aid or compensation granted to farmers, using farming practices respectful of the environment, in the form of a contractual agreement between the State, the EEC and the farmers for a 5 to 10 year period (or 20 years even).
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Agricultural pollution

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Pollution resulting from agricultural activities. There are two types of agricultural pollution: point source pollution, which may be the consequence of accidental handling of products or pollution from livestock buildings; non-point source pollution, resulting from poor fertilisation practices or excessive phytosanitary treatments. Agricultural pollution can also result from poor land management and spatial and plot planning that no longer limits erosion or pollutant transfers on a catchment area scale.
Source
according to the Adour-Garonne Water Agency

Agroforestry

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun
Agricultural practice for land use associating the planting of trees with crops or pastures.
Source
according to BRGM and AFB

Agronomy

Updated on 11/03/2019
Définition
Sens commun

Sciences and techniques that aim at understanding the relationships between crops, environments and agricultural techniques, and at improving agriculture.

Source
according to the French Association of Agronomy

Alevin

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Young fish living on its yolk reserves or having not yet acquired its adult form.

Source
according to Larousse dictionary

Algaculture

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Culture of algae (micro or macroalgae) potentially for the production of food (for human beings or animals), food supplements, fertilisers or other products.
Source
according to the mixed syndicate for the development of aquaculture and fishing in the Loire Region

Algae

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Unicellular or pluricellular photosynthetic organism usually living in an aquatic environment.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Algal bloom

Updated on 27/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun

Phenomenon of exceptional proliferation of algae.

Source
d'après Ifremer

Alien species

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun

Any live specimen of a species, subspecies or lower taxon of animals, plants, fungi or micro- organisms introduced outside its natural range; it includes any part, gametes, seeds, eggs or propagules of such species, as well as any hybrids, varieties or breeds that might survive and subsequently reproduce.

Source
according to to European Commission

Allergen

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A substance (very often a protein) alien to the human body and that can cause an allergy when it enters it (possible ways: ingestion, injection, inhalation...). Seafood (crustaceans, but also molluscs, often seashells and even fish, often scombridae and Gadidae) contain allergens to which some consumers are sensitive. There might be cross-reactivity between some allergens.
Source
According to Ifremer

Allis shad

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Fish species belonging to the Clupeidae family (such as sardine and herring). The allis shad are among the anadromous species (i.e. which swim up rivers to spawn in the middle part of the rivers). As such, their populations have paid a heavy price to river development (dams without fish pass facilities, extraction of gravel changing the spawning, etc). Their presence is therefore a good indicator of the status of a river development. Two species of allis shad are present (and exploited) in French waters: the allis shad (Alosa Alosa) and twaite shad (Alosa fallax).

Source
According to Ifremer

Alluvial forest

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A regularly or exceptionally flooded forest ecosystem. It is a wooded strip along a watercourse whose width is greater than 10 metres. In areas flooded during 150 to 200 days per year, the alluvial forest is composed of permanent vegetation consisting of softwood and dominated by willows, alders. A hardwood forest, consisting of ash and elm trees, settles in the highest areas, flooded at least 50 days per year. These forest habitats are home to the newt, European beaver, the otter and many birds. Most of these habitats are of community interest.
Source
According to Poitou-Charentes Regional Council

Alluvial plain

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Plain formed by the deposition of sediments from upstream erosion.
Source
according to UNESCO

Alluvial sheet

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Volume of groundwater contained in alluvial soils, usually unconfined and often in relation with a watercourse.
Source
According to BRGM

Alluvium

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
All materials (pebbles, gravel, sand) deposited by running water in floodplains, especially during floods.
Source
According to AFB

Alteration

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Change in the status of an aquatic environment or a river system causing degradation. Alterations are defined by their nature (physical, ionic, organic, toxic, biological, etc.) and their effect (eutrophication, asphyxia, poisoning, change in populations, etc). In most cases these alterations are due to human activities, but they can also be natural.
Source
According to the Ministry of Sustainable Development

Altitude

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Vertical elevation of a place or object relative to a basic level. Altitude is also a value that expresses a difference between a given point and an average level. On land, this level is usually the sea level (or "zero level"). Specifically, the altitude of the body of water is considered as average for natural water bodies and as normal operating level or normal water retention level (NR) for man-made water bodies. The…
Source
According to AFB

Altruistic value

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Value corresponding to the willingness to preserve an environmental good that people of the current generation can enjoy.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment

Amenities

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Services provided free of charge by nature or the environment to individuals, associated with notions of comfort, convenience, pleasure and knowledge related to a location. For example, the fact of living on the edge of an urban park or staying in a rural area brings benefits in terms of landscape quality, quietness, microclimate, etc.
Source
According to Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency

Ammonification

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Production of ammonia from organic nitrogen by bacteria or decomposer fungi.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Amphibian

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Vertebrate animal that has the characteristic of starting its life in the water. At birth, an amphibian breathes through its gills, like a fish. As an adult he now has lungs through which he can breathe freely, but he continues to absorb most of the oxygen he needs through the skin.

Source
according to Aquitaine Wildlife Observatory (AWO)

Analysis

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens technique

Methodical review allowing both to identify and quantify the different components of water, but also to evaluate its characteristics and state, according to specific criteria. This review is based on the following of specific protocols adapted to the various controlled parameters.

Source
according to IOWater

Analysis laboratory

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Organization in charge of carrying out analyses or coordinating analyses made by subcontractors. The laboratories are stakeholders which generally act as providers under contracts (procurement). They produce data according to the specifications attached to the order.

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment

Analyzed fraction

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Component of the substrate/medium to be analyzed. Three broad categories of analyzed fractions were defined by the National Service for Water Data and Reference-dataset Management (Sandre): (i) rough or full substrate (e.g. the "untreated water" fraction analyzed from the "water" substrate); (ii) partial fractions (as classified by part of the same medium, e.g. for sediments: particles

Source
According to AFB and IOWater

Anastomosed

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Describes a set of intersecting channels in a wide floodplain, or a delta, well endowed with all kinds of distributaries and cut-offs separated by shoals. The term, borrowed from the medical language, is used in hydrology only as an adjective: we indeed speak of an anastomosed river
Source
According to AFB

Annual average residence time

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Time needed to complete the theoretical water renewal of a body of water, on average, over a calendar year. The residence time of water, expressed in days, can be calculated by the following formula: total capacity / annual discharge of rivers that feed the body of water.
Source
According to AFB

Annual flow

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Average flow over a year: it is most often obtained by adding the average daily water flows of the year and by dividing the result by the number of days in the year.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Annual mean flow

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Average flow over a year: it is most often obtained by adding the average daily flows of the year and by dividing the result by the number of days in the year.
Source
According to AFB

Annual precipitation

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Mean annual cumulative rainfall at a given location.
Source
according to METEO FRANCE

Anthropization

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Conversion of a natural environment by human action. River development is an example of anthropization.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Anthropocentric value

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Value that can be instrumental and overlaps the concept of economic utilization or non-utilization value, or can be intrinsic and express the value of non-human species for themselves, but always with a subjective perspective because human beings define it (anthropogenic conception of the intrinsic value).
Source
According to Foundation for Research on Biodiversity

Approved laboratory

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Laboratory authorised by the Ministry in charge of the field in which it is competent. For example, the Ministry of Health approves laboratories carrying out analyses on the quality of water intended for human consumption (excluding natural mineral waters), swimming and bathing water (bathing with full amenities and other bathing). Another example is the Ministry of the Environment, which approves laboratories carrying out analyses in the field of water and aquatic environments under the Environment Code.
Source
according to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Environment

Aquaculture

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
All activities related to marine plant cultivation and breeding of marine animals. The words "aquiculture" and even "mariculture" once used are regarded as obsolete synonyms. We distinguish inland aquaculture, which means all fish farming activities in freshwater and marine aquaculture, which means all sea farming activities in sea water. There are four types: shellfish culture (shellfish breeding)), pisciculture (fish farming), the breeding of crustaceans and seaweed (algae culture).
Source
According to Ifremer

Aquatic ecosystem

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Specific ecosystem of aquatic environments generally described by the living beings that are part of it, the nature of the bed and river banks, the characteristics of the catchment area, the hydraulic regime, and the physical-chemical characteristics of water.

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment

Aquatic flora

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Plant species growing in aquatic environments.
Source
according to ADEME

Aquatic insect

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Articulated invertebrate animal which have the characteristic of breathing through trachea. Some insects have become aquatic (representing 3% of insects) but have retained this aerial breathing.

Source
according to INRA

Aquatic mammal

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Set of aquatic vertebrate animals which have the characteristic of being viviparous: the female lets the young grow in its belly, from which they get out alive. Marine mammals living in the oceans (cetaceans), as well as various freshwater species, such as the European otter, are aquatic mammals. Their mode of operation depends on the aquatic ecosystem where they live.

Source
according to Loire-Bretagne Water Agency

Aqueduct

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Structure for conveying water from one location to another.
Source
according to the National Centre for Textual and Lexical Resources

Aquifer

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Continuous or discontinuous geological formation, containing temporary or permanent water that can be mobilized. It consists of permeable rock (porous or fractured formation) able to provide water naturally or though exploitation (drainage, pumping).

Source
According to BRGM

Aquifer decontamination

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Action to remove pollution from groundwater. Water decontamination can use different approaches (physical, chemical or biological), in situ (directly underground) or ex situ (water pumping, treatment and reinjection).
Source
according to the University of Picardy

Aquifer system

Updated on 05/03/2019
Définition
Sens technique

Set of aquifers constituting a hydrogeological unit. Its hydrodynamic characteristics give it a quasi-hydraulic independence (non-propagation of effects outside its limits). As such, it is an entity for the management of the underground water it contains.

Source
d'après Ministère chargé de l'environnement et AFB

Aquifer vulnerability

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Risk of infiltration of pollutants from the surface, through the soil and unsaturated zone. The vulnerability of aquifers is intrinsic: it depends on the topographic (ground slope), pedological (permeability), geological context (permeability, thickness). A confined aquifer, covered by a low permeability formation (often clays) is not very vulnerable as compared to an unconfined aquifer.
Source
according to BRGM

Arch dam

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Dam with a complex design, which is thin and resistant to the hydraulic pressure by bracing the rocky sides of a valley. These dams are particularly suitable for narrow valleys.
Source
according to the French Committee of Dams and Reservoirs

Area for flood storage purpose

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Natural or agricultural floodplain (not currently urbanized), that can be extended to floods whose occurrence is higher than the hundred-year flood, as part of a hydrogeomorphical approach. When local stakes require it (level of hazards, areas considered important, etc), floodplains, which, at the date of approval of the river basin management plan (SDAGE), are classified "to be urbanized" but are not yet highly urbanized, may be considered, for their part not yet urbanized, as areas for flood storage purpose.

Source
According to Rhine-Meuse Water Agency

Area with environmental restrictions

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens réglementaire
Regulatory system resulting from the law on water and aquatic environments of 30 December 2006, intended to implement action plans for the protection of zones with environmental stakes, especially in aquatic environments (areas of drinking water intakes, wetlands, areas prone to soil erosion).
Source
according to BRGM and AFB

Article 5 report

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

According to the Water Framework Directive (WFD), it means analyzing the whole basin or group of basins, focusing on three aspects: characteristics of the basin or group of basins, impacts of human activities on water status and economic analysis of water use. The assessment especially aims to prepare later the master plan for water development and management * (SDAGE) and the programme of measures by assessing the risk of not achieving the environmental objectives for water bodies. The first assessments were adopted by the basin committees and approved by the basin coordinator prefects in…

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Artificial groundwater recharge

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Man action of replenishing an aquifer. The artificial recharge of an aquifer can be used to regulate water resources by storing water, to treat wastewater or to recover aquifer drawdown (in volume or pressure) caused by pumping, but also to limit or prevent salt water intrusions into coastal aquifers to ensure the sustainability of their quality. It is carried out by infiltration from surface structures (basins, ditches) or by injection wells and boreholes.
Source
according to BRGM

Artificial rain

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Rain caused by the disturbance of a microphysical equilibrium occurring in clouds. Artificial rain can be produced by seeding clouds, with the introduction of ice-forming nucleuses of silver iodide.
Source
National Association for the Study and Control of Weather Calamities

Artificial water body

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
A body of surface water created by human activities in an area that was previously dry. It can be for instance an artificial lake or canal. These water bodies are designated by the same criteria as heavily modified water bodies and must achieve the same objectives (good ecological potential and good chemical status), set out by the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Artificialisation

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Moving an environment or landscape from a relatively natural status to a man-made status.
Source
according to IFREMER

Assessment data

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Data resulting from an assessment.
Source
According to AFB

Assessment process

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Implementation of a sequence of operations for assessing the status of water qualify on an assessment site according to one or more quality elements over a given period and in accordance with a given assessment profile.
Source
According to AFB

Assigned flow

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

According to the Water Act of 1992, "when hydraulic development works, other than those conceded or authorized and intended or resulting in the regulation of the flow of a non-State owned watercourse or for increasing its flow during low-flow periods, all or part of the artificial

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Associated groundwater

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

A groundwater sheet neighbouring a stream and whose hydraulic properties are closely related to those of the stream. The exploitation of such a sheet leads to a decrease in the low-flow of the river, either because the groundwater sheet provides less water to the stream, or because the river begins to feed the sheet.

Source
According to BRGM

Associated station

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Differs depending on the type of the measuring station. For a twin-gauge station, the station associated with the "mother" station is the daughter station and vice versa. For a virtual station, the associated stations are those used to reconstruct the flow rate.
Source
According to SCHAPI

Athens Protocol

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources adopted on 17 May 1980 in Athens and entered into force on 17 June 1983. The Athens Protocol was modified by amendments adopted on 7 March 1996 in Syracuse. The agreement is now entitled "Protocol for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution from land-based sources and activities".
Source
according to the Mixed Syndicate of the Etang de Berre

Atlas

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Collection of geographical maps. The National Service for Water Data and Reference-dataset Management (Sandre), in particular, provides geo-referenced data (e.g. water bodies, measuring stations, river basin areas such as BD Carthage, regulatory zoning, etc) via an online service, known as Atlas, on the Sandre website.

Source
According to AFB and IOWater

Atlas of flooded areas

Updated on 04/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Mapping of the surface area flooded by a significant high water level that allows keeping record of the largest floods.
Source
According to Rhine-Meuse Water Agency

Atlas of floodplains

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Mapping of the surface area that would be flooded by high water levels modelled for each frequency (10-year to 100-year floods) or determination by a hydro-geomorphologic method of homogeneous spatial units modelled for different types of floods. The Atlas of floodplains thus represent potential flood-prone areas having (or not) been flooded by a known high water level.
Source
According to Rhine-Meuse Water Agency

Atmospheric pollution

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Environmental pollution by a chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. For example, appliances used for combustion in homes, motor vehicles, industries and forest fires are frequent sources of air pollution.
Source
according to WHO

Atmospheric pressure

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Pressure exerted to any body, surrounded by the atmosphere, by the weight of the column of air situated above it. The average atmospheric pressure at sea level is 760 mm of mercury. This pressure decreases with altitude.
Source
according to IFREMER

Attribute

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

What is proper to a living organism or an object. An attribute (or properties) is information that characterizes an entity (or object). For example, the object "Wastewater treatment plant" is characterized by properties including its size, type, etc. Data dictionaries established by the National Service for Water Data and Reference-dataset Management (Sandre) include entities characterized by attributes. An attribute can be physically translated into a field of a database.

Source
According to AFB and IOWater

Auction system

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Issue related to the valuation of a good/property in a contingent valuation, which can be considered in different ways. The first of them corresponds to a system of increasing or decreasing successive bids. Example: we propose an amount to the individual and, according to his response (acceptance or rejection), we propose a second amount (higher or lower), then a third amount, and so on. The criticisms made to this mechanism are for the most part linked to the fact that responses are highly dependent on the first offer.
Source
According to Robert Cameron Mitchell (economist)

Authorization

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
An administrative police act that authorizes an activity or development (abstraction, discharge, work, etc) by laying out the conditions for business or implementation and allowing the administration to closely monitor it. Please refer in particular to "procedure" and "nomenclature"
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Authorization or declaration subject to the Environmental Code

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
This term includes declarations and authorizations related to the Water Law, declarations and authorizations related to Classified Facilities for Environmental Protection (ICPE), authorizations for Inert Waste Storage Facilities (ISDI), etc. However, according to the principle of independence of the regulations, this term does not include authorizations or declarations under another code, the Urban Planning Code in particular.
Source
According to Rhine-Meuse Water Agency

Average annual rainfall

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Average rainfall over a year: it is obtained mostly by adding the average daily rainfalls of the year and dividing the result by the number of days in the year.
Source
According to AFB

Average depth

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Average water depth in metres. The average depth of a body of water is calculated by dividing the volume by the surface area, both determined at the average elevation for a natural body of water, and at the normal operating elevation for an artificial body of water.
Source
According to AFB

Average elevation

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Usual average altitude of the water line of a natural body of water. The average elevation is calculated by regularly measuring the height of the water line of the water body using a scale, indexed on the geographic levelling in force or any other technical means (probe, sounding line or other) and on a given period (calendar year or other period). For lack of regular measurements, especially for smaller water…
Source
According to AFB

Avoided-cost method

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Method for estimating the costs to be incurred should the studied environmental good be absent. For example, the disappearance of a wetland for flood control would result in an increased flood risk and therefore an increase in the damage caused.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment