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Water Board

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun

A Local public institution located overseas, similar to the water agencies in continental France, which is responsible for facilitating the various activities of common interest in the management of water and aquatic environments to help achieving the objectives of the river basin management plans (SDAGEs). There is currently a water board in the Reunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Guyana. Since Mayotte became a Department, there are thoughts of creating a water board.

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment

Water abstraction

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun

Extraction of fresh water from a groundwater source or surface, permanently or temporarily, and conveyed to the place of use. Water abstractions include all activities related levies generated by agriculture, industry (including energy), the supply of drinking water, or other (mineral spring authorized, production artificial snow).

Source
according to AFB, IOWater, SOeS and OCDE

Flood warning

Updated on 08/04/2020
Définition
Sens commun

Warning issued in advance by the departmental flood forecasting services. In the event of heavy rainfall or hydrological alert, a flood warning is sent to the Prefect, who then alerts the mayors of the catchment areas concerned.

Source
according to OFB
Sens technique

Warning issued in advance by a special state service (flood forecasting service). In the event of a rainfall or hydrological alert (triggering when thresholds are exceeded), the flood forecasting service offers the Prefect the alert of the mayors of the watersheds concerned. As a severe overflow flood, the flood warning service broadcasts, for prefects and mayors, hydrological situation bulletins and information on the evolution of water levels . In 1994, 54 flood warning services monitored 16,000 km of waterways in France using automated measurement networks.

Source
According to Ministry of the Environment and OFB

Environmental audit

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Management instrument including a systematic, documented, periodic and objective assessment of the effectiveness of the organisation, management system and procedures in terms of environmental impact. An environmental audit can be carried out without a reference system, with a diagnostic purpose, or with a reference system, in order to check compliance with rules or standards.
Source
according to Cogiterra

Water self cleaning/ water assimilative capacity

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Biological process by which water in natural environments (rivers, wetlands, lakes, etc.) cleans itself when the amount of pollutants discharged into it is not too significant. Self-cleaning is the result of the action of organisms living in water.
Source
according to AFB

Needle dam/weir

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Dam consisting of a succession of solid frames (foldable metal frames) connected by a bridge and each supporting a movable part - the needle - which can be raised or lowered.
Source
according to Voies navigables de France (French Waterways)

Earth dam

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
An embankment, formed of compact earth, built across the bed of a river to create a water reservoir. This is the simplest and oldest type of dam. Its slopes must be soft enough to ensure stability and the earth must be sufficiently impermeable (e.g. clay).
Source
according to the French Committee of Dams and Reservoirs

Hydropower dam

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A structure built on a watercourse for creating a water reservoir to ensure a constant production of electricity. The impounded water of the reservoir is conveyed by pipes to the power plant.
Source
according to the French Committee of Dams and Reservoirs

Gravity dam

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
A rather old dam, made of a block of solid material (concrete or masonry) heavy enough to withstand the water pressure.
Source
according to the French Committee of Dams and Reservoirs

Impoundment dam

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Structure built for the storage of water for replenishing low water levels or supplying channels.
Source
according to Voies navigables de France (French Waterways)

Underground dam

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
A groundwater impoundment structure built across underground water channels. The underground dams are built in the sub-soil. They store water in geological formations, retain groundwater and require pumping facilities to make water usable.
Source
according to the Japanese Ministry of the Environment

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

Pollution basin

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Storm basin intended to retain the pollution of the first waters during periods of heavy rain.
Source
according to FNDAE

Hydrological balance

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Accounting of the changes in water resources (stream flows, groundwater level, effective rainfall) of an area (for example a catchment area) based on meteorological, piezometric or hydrological information.
Source
according to AFB

Nuclear power plant

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A plant that generates electricity by using the heat released by the nuclear fuel. This heat heats water and produces steam which drives turbines and consequently alternators. In normal operation, a plant releases radioactive liquids and gas, which can be found in aquatic environments, after treatment of water used for cooling installations (demineralisation, chlorination). On the other hand, the water used in the cooling circuits is hot when it is discharged into the river or the sea, which again can alter the functioning of the ecosystems.
Source
according to AFB and the French Nuclear Energy Company

Dam release

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Operation to lower water level and increase outflow rates to discharge some of the sediment retained by a dam. A dam release consists in opening the gates, thus limiting the silting of the dam reservoir and the risk of flooding. This operation, although common in the management of harnessed rivers, can have adverse effects on the downstream environment (decrease of oxygen levels in water, obstruction of fish gills by suspended solids, etc.).
Source
according to ISTREA

Water pollution

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Pollution of water degrading its intrinsic qualities, disrupting aquatic life and making its use dangerous for human beings and animals. This contamination results from the presence of pollutants in sufficient quantity to be harmful.
Source
according to ADEME

Oslo Convention

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
International Convention signed in 1972 for the prevention of marine pollution by dumping from ships and aircraft. The Oslo Commission was responsible for administering the Oslo Convention; in 1992, it combined with the Paris Commission, before the new Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR Convention) entered into force in 1998.
Source
according to OSPAR Commission

London Convention

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
International Convention signed in 1972 and entered into force in 1975 for the prevention of marine pollution by dumping of wastes.
Source
according to the Ministry of Agriculture

Meander cutoff

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A cutoff that occurs when two knees of the same meander meet. The cutoff then causes the abandonment of the meander to form a new channel.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Nitrogen cycle

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens commun

All of the processes and conversions of nitrogen, into different forms, in the atmosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere and the biosphere (nitrous oxide, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, organic nitrogen).

Source
according to the Ministry of Environment

Soil decontamination

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Action to extract or destroy all or part of the pollutants present in a soil.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Delta

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A type of river mouth characterised by heavy siltation at an elevation very close to that of the water surface and forming a natural marshy plain.
Source
according to IFREMER

River diversion

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Temporary or definitive man-made change in the layout of a watercourse by totally or partially diverting the water flow.
Source
according to AFB and Réseau ferré de France (French railway network)

Demesnial water

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Part of a river owned and maintained by a national governmental body. This maintenance can be delegated to the regions or departments.
Source
according to French private forestry