Glossaire de A à Z


Wader

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Refers to a species, usually birds, which lives in the mud and swamps.
Source
According to Poitou-Charentes Regional Council

Warning level (or threshold) flow

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

"Threshold" value of the flow that triggers the first restrictions for some activities. These measures are taken at the initiative of the prefectural authority in connection with a crisis cell and in accordance with a crisis plan. Below this threshold, one of the functions (or activities) is compromised. To partially restore this function, it is necessary to limit temporarily another: withdrawal or discharge (first restriction measures)…

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Waste

Updated on 05/03/2019
Définition
Sens réglementaire

In the meaning of the law of July 15, 1975, any residue resulting from a process of production, transformation or use, any substance, material, product or more generally any movable asset abandoned, or that its holder intends to abandon.

Source
d'après Agence de l'eau Rhône-Méditerranée et Corse

Wastewater

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Water that has been used by man. We usually distinguish wastewater from domestic, industrial or agricultural origin. These waters are discharged into the natural environment directly or through collecting systems with or without treatment. We also talk of sewage or effluent.

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Wastewater heat recovery unit

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Exchanger used to partially recover the thermal energy of wastewater.
Source
according to CELF

Wastewater re-use

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Use of wastewater, in agriculture for example, after passing through the treatment plant, instead of being discharged into watercourses, bodies of water or coastal waters. This re-use allows, on the one hand, mobilising an additional water resource and, on the other, protecting the water receiving the treated wastewater.
Source
according to the Ministry of the Environment

Wastewater treatment

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
All processes to make wastewater comply with environmental standards in force or with other quality standards for recycling or reuse. We usually distinguish the primary, secondary and tertiary treatments. To calculate the total volume of treated wastewater, we should only take into account the type of most advanced treatment used for these waters.
Source

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

Water aeration

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Bringing water and air in close contact to remove all dissolved gases (especially those responsible for bad odours) from water and introducing oxygen to oxidise certain compounds such as iron and manganese to prevent corrosion).
Source
according to WHO

Water Agency

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

State Public institution of an administrative nature supervised by the Minister in charge of the environment. In a river basin or group of basins, the water agency is implementing the river basin management plan (SDAGE) and the sub-basin management plans (SAGEs), by enabling efficient and sound management of water resources and aquatic environments, drinking water supply…

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Water balance

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Ratio between inflows to (e.g. precipitation, runoff, capillary rise) and outflows (e.g. transpiration or evaporation) from a given system over a given time interval, which gives the variation in water storage. The water balance allows knowing the soil water storage capacity, potentially usable for different purposes (agriculture or other).
Source
according to INRA and Aquitaine Chamber of Agriculture

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 column

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Volume of water between the bottom and the surface of a sea, ocean, river or lake.
Source
according to AFB
Sens technique
Concept used in ecology for aquatic and marine environments to describe the physical (temperature, salinity, penetration of light) and chemical characteristics (pH, dissolved oxygen content, nutrients, trace metals...) of seawater, at different depths, for a given geographical point. The water column extends from the water surface to the bottom of rivers,
Source
according to IFREMER

Water conveyance system

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Set of techniques to bring water from its spring to consumption sites.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Water corrosivity

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Qualifies water which can dissolve scale and limestone. Corrosive water contributes to the corrosion of metallic pipes and equipment. It can cause the dissolution of metals (nickel, iron, copper, lead, cadmium...) and in this case induce health risks.
Source
according to the Alsace Regional Health Agency (ARS)

Water cycle

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
All water exchanges and transformations in the various components of the environment. The big water cycle (or natural cycle) describes the exchanges in the whole ecosystem, the small water cycle (or anthropogenic cycle), describes the circulation of water in a man-made network.
Source
according to the Water Agencies and AFB

Water deficit

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Cumulative difference between potential evapotranspiration (soil evaporation and transpiration from vegetation) and precipitation during a certain period in which the precipitation is the smaller of the two.
Source
According to Poitou-Charentes Regional Council

Water desalination

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Process used to obtain freshwater from brackish or salt water.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Water economy

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
A branch of the economy that theoretically deals with the relations between human societies and water, especially in economic policies relating to water, its consumption, use and pricing.
Source
according to the Ministry of Ecology

Water filtration

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A method used for passing water through a bed of filter material to improve its quality.
Source
according to AFB
Sens technique
Removal of suspended solids from a fluid (according to their particle size). Gravity or pressure filtration can be carried out through a porous wall (screen, membrane) or through a granular material (sand, anthracite, gravel and other materials used in biofiltration). One distinguishes screening (0.15-2.5 mm), micro-screening (25-150 μm), microfiltration (1-100 μm), ultrafiltration (1 - 0.1 μm) or nanofiltration (10 - 100 nm) depending on the size of the retained particles or the pores of the device.
Source
according to SIAAP and IOWater

Water Footprint

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Volume of water used at all stages of the production chain of a product (installation, goods or service). The water footprint is also its "virtual water content". For example, to produce a cup of coffee you require a total of 140 litres of water; for one pound of beef you need 16 m³ (16,000 litres). In the end, the water footprint is the total volume of water (expressed in litres or m3) directly and indirectly used in an activity and those that are related, including the water used in the supply chain.
Source

Water Framework Directive

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, commonly known as the Water Framework Directive (WFD). It sets out environmental objectives and deadlines to improve the ecological and chemical status of surface water bodies as well as the quantitative status and chemical status of groundwater bodies. Some water bodies created by human activity or having their characteristics fundamentally modified by human activity, may be designated respectively as artificial water bodies (AWB) or heavily modified water bodies (HMWB). In this case, their characteristics and ecological functioning are described by an ecological potential. The WFD especially sets the general goal to achieve "
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Water hardness

Updated on 05/03/2019
Définition
Sens technique

Expression of the calcium and magnesium content of water. It is measured in French degree (°f ou °TH).

Source
d'après BRGM

Water Information System

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Information system designed to meet the needs of stakeholders (including the general public) regarding public environmental information in the field of water. It collects, store and disseminates data and indicators on water, aquatic environments and on their uses. Its entry point is the www.eaufrance.fr portal. His technical management is entrusted to the national office for water and aquatic environments (Onema) under the authority of the Ecology ministry. The national framework for water data (NFWD) stipulates the role and responsibilities of each data producer as well as the components making up WIS-FR. It is based on the common language set up by Sandre, now the French national service for water data and common repositories management.

Source
According to AFB and IOWater

Water jobs

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Employment specifically related to the water sector, whether to monitor and maintain the environment, manage the resource, supply drinking water or treat wastewater. There are many water jobs: hydrologists, chemists, hydrant men, water treatment jobs, etc.
Source
according to the Ministry of the Environment and AFB

Water Law of 16 December 1964

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens réglementaire
It aims to cope with the evolution of demography, industrial development and the growing pollution problems they generate, the first law enabling institutional, financial and technical conditions for global and decentralised water resources management. It thus establishes a management logic according to major river basins (and not according to an administrative logic); sets up, in each basin, a basin committee in charge of drafting the water management policy, and a water agency (or financial basin agency), in charge of implementing this policy; and establishes a National Water Committee (NWC), an advisory body for the Prime Minister. The law of 16 December 1964 imposes, with its goal of pollution control, the making of a national inventory to establish the degree of pollution (INP) of surface water and the definition of objectives for quality improvement. It has been repealed for codification in the environment code.
Source
according to AFB

Water Law of 3 January 1992

Updated on 25/02/2019
Définition
Sens réglementaire
Law making the necessary amendments to the legislative framework to implement the numerous European directives for defining the quality standards that water must meet for certain uses (drinking water, bathing water, fish-breeding water, shellfish waters). One of the strengths of the law of 3 January 1992 is the introduction of two new global water resources planning systems: master plans for water development and management (SDAGE) for each of the major French river basins, and water management and management plans (SAGE) developed on a more local scale. Contrary to the 1964 law, the 1992 law does not imply any obligation to monitor environments but it reinforces the principles of protection of aquatic ecosystems and consultation between water users and stakeholders. The evolution of knowledge is also making it clear that the assessment of river quality must be done by considering the different components of the environment (water and substrate) and the organisms that live in it.
Source
according to AFB

Water leak

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Unplanned water flow from a pipe, through a narrow or hidden slot.
Source
according to IOwater and AFB

Water level

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Level of a free water surface above a reference plane (vertical distance between the surface of a river, a body of water, a reservoir (or an observation well for groundwater) and zero on the gauge.
Source
According to BRGM

Water loss

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Water volume lost during its conveyance between the abstraction point and a point of use (due to leak or evaporation) or between the place of use and a place of reuse.

Source
According to Eurostat

Water meter

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Device measuring water consumption. The water meter gives the volume of the water, used and invoiced, in cubic meters. Its regular reading helps monitor consumption and detect leaks.
Source
according to the Ile-de-France Water Syndicate

Water neutralisation

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Process to reduce the pH of water (by acidification or alkalisation) to a value determined according to the needs.
Source
according to ADEME

Water odour

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Odour that emerges from water, usually due to a multitude of different molecules, in very low concentrations, mixed with the air that is breathed. For example, open sewers, discharges from an organic chemical industry (pharmacies, insecticides), wastewater treatment, intensive livestock farming (pigs, cattle, poultry or other) or land application (slurries, sewage sludge) can be a source of olfactory nuisance.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Water point

Updated on 18/03/2020
Définition
Sens technique

Natural (spring) or artificial access (drilling, drain, well, etc) to groundwater. Each water point has a national code (BSS code) and is located by geographic coordinates through a projection system. It is also defined by the following additional pieces of information: a name or label, an altitude, an address (locality), a location map.

Source
According to BRGM

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

Water pressure

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Value representing the force applied by water on a surface. We distinguish the hydrostatic pressure, exerted by water at rest, from the dynamic pressure, linked to a movement of water.
Source
according to UNESCO

Water regulations

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Regulations that govern the operation of dams and hydraulic systems in general. Since 1995, they have been approved by the prefecture and established after public inquiry. They give rules for the management of structures (minimum flow, reserved flow, water release, etc). Regarding structures for the replenishment of low-water flow (in normal and crisis situation), they must determine how water resources will be shared between
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Water release by a dam

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Controlled evacuation of part of the water of a dam reservoir (low-flow period, security, energy production, etc.).

Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Water reservoir/tank

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A structure for the storage of water taken from the natural environment before its supply to a system. Water reservoirs are a buffer between water supply and demand.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Water resource

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Potential source of water supply to meet water needs related to some human activities. This resource can be artificial – e.g. a channel - or natural – e.g. a river or an ocean.
Source
according to AFB and IOWater

Water salinity

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Amount of salts dissolved in water.
Source
according to Wikipedia

Water saving

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
All the actions taken to control wastage of water, from its abstraction up to its use. One of the goals of water saving is efficient water use.
Source
according to the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency

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

Water sharing

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens réglementaire
Concept covering the issue of distributing water withdrawals to meet different uses (domestic, agricultural, industrial...),an especially tricky subject in case of shortage.
Source
according to IRSTEA

Water softening

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
It is a technique to remove minerals that cause water hardness, especially calcium and magnesium.
Source
according to IOWater
Sens technique
A technique consisting in exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions, which are not very soluble and which react with the carbonates of water to form limestone, with the sodium ions which are perfectly soluble in water. This operation is named "ion exchange".
Source
According to UAE

Water stakeholder

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Private or public person or entity, either general or specialised practitioner, able to practice on variable scales (a community, a department, at national or European level, etc.), acting in one of the water-related fields (risks, pollution control, sanitation, etc.).
Source
according to AFB

Water taste

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Water Characteristic (such as smell or appearance) dependent on the chemical substances it contains.
Source
according to the Journal of Water Sciences

Water tower

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
A tower with an elevated high-capacity tank used to store drinking water and then convey it by gravity pipes.
Source
according to AFB

Water treatment sludge

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Sludge resulting from the treatment of water.
Source
according to the Seine-Normandy Water Agency

Water use

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Utilization of water by human beings (domestic, industrial, agricultural, recreational, cultural uses of drinking water).
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Water utilization

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
All services and activities having a significant impact on water status. Services related to the use of water are water uses characterized by the existence of structures for abstraction, storage, treatment or discharge. They have a fixed asset.
Source
According to the Ministry of Ecology

Water year

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
A 12-month period that begins after the usual month of the lowest waters. Depending on local weather patterns, the water year may begin on dates different from the regular calendar, but in France, it usually starts in September.
Source
According to Poitou-Charentes Regional Council

Water-borne disease

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Disease caused by ingestion or contact with unsafe water.
Source
according to Lenntech

Water-dependent area

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Set of alluvial wetlands permanently or temporarily related with the current environment by either surface or underground connections: islands, alluvial bars, ox-bows, flood meadows, alluvial and riverine forests, springs and underground rivers. These spaces are important transition zones between the terrestrial and aquatic environments. They offer a wide variety of habitats, in which fauna and flora communities (insects, fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals) are distributed according to the level of land flooding. Water dependent areas have a key role in the life cycle of species and especially in fish spawning. Depending on the concerned species and their nature, they are breeding grounds, migration resting or feeding areas. Amphibians and reptiles are represented as much as birds. The marsh frog, the…
Source
According to AFB

Water-related activity

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Economic activity that uses water and services related to water use.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and IOWater

Watercourse

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Legally characterized by the permanence of its bed, the natural character of the stream or its normal water flow (e.g. a channel offering the river, in the collective interest, an additional outlet or replacing the natural bed) and an adequate supply, not limited to discharges or stormwater (the existence of a spring is required).
Source
According to Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency

watercourse rectified

Updated on 27/07/2020
Définition
Sens commun

Se dit d’un cours d’eau droit, linéaire, ayant subi des modifications profondes de sa morphologie de la main de l’homme. Il peut présenter de nombreuses anomalies de fonctionnement (érosion régressive, incision), une homogénéisation de ses faciès d’écoulement et donc une perte d’intérêt majeur pour la faune et la flore. En opposition au cours d’eau méandriforme.

Source
d'après Jura Natura Services

Watercourses fragmentation

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Fragmentation of a watercourse into several fragments, due to natural or artificial obstacles (i.e. sills, dams, weirs, etc), which may lead to a disruption into the ecological continuity, preventing the free movement of species or the smooth sediments flow.

Source
according to AFB and IOWater

Watershed (UK)

Updated on 19/06/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Line on either side of which the water flows towards one or the other of two juxtaposed river basins.
Source
According to Ifremer

Waterways transport

Updated on 06/09/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Mode of transporting goods or people through the national and international waterways networks.
Source
according to the National Chamber of Inland Navigation

Wave

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Periodic oscillation of sea level. The wave occurs sporadically, depending on the uneven pressures and on the wind friction that these differences in pressure generate. Waves (or chops), formed by the local wind, are random and, therefore, their action on the shore is negligible on the average.
Source
According to Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency

Web service

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique

Technology that enables applications to interact remotely via the Internet regardless of the platforms and languages on which they are based (see interoperability). The National Service for Water Data and Reference-dataset Management (Sandre) specifies web services by technical scenarios and disseminates its reference datasets by web services.

Source
According to AFB and IOWater

Weed control

Updated on 04/12/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Use of mechanical means (tillage, hoeing, weeding) or chemical treatments (weed killers) to eliminate unwanted plant species.
Source
according to the Larousse dictionary and IOWater

Wet 5-year flow

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Monthly flow with a 1/5 probability of being exceeded every year. It allows characterizing a calendar month with high hydraulicity.
Source
According to SCHAPI

Wet marsh

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun

Marsh or area that can be flooded at high-flow or by water silting in the rainy season.

Source
According to Poitou-Charentes Regional Council

Wetland

Updated on 06/12/2019
Définition
Sens commun

Natural environment marked by the temporary or permanent presence of water, hosting a specific flora and fauna. Examples include a marsh, bog, pond, pond, pond, estuary, etc.

Source
according to AFB and IOWater
Sens technique

An area where water, whether fresh, salty or brackish, is the main factor controlling the natural environment and the associated animal and plant life. Wetlands are fed by stream flow and/or rising water tables and are shaped by the alternation of high and low water levels. Examples include streams, peat bogs, ponds, ponds, ponds, banks, floodplains, salt meadows, mudflats, coastal marshes, estuaries. These areas are transition spaces between land and water (they are ecotones). The vegetation present has a marked hygrophilic character (which absorbs water). Like all these types of particular spaces, it has a strong biological potential (specific fauna and flora) and have a role in regulating flow and improving water quality.

Source
according to AFB
Sens réglementaire

There are several regulatory definitions of the term "Wetland" depending on the text: 

  • According to article L211-1 of the Environmental Code, "wetlands are defined as "land, whether or not exploited, usually flooded or gorged with fresh, salty or brackish water on a permanent or temporary basis; vegetation, where it exists, is dominated by hygrophilic plants for at least part of the year".
  • According to article R.211-108 of the Environmental Code, which specifies article L211-1: the criteria to be used to define a wetland are related to the morphology of the soil related to the prolonged presence of water of natural origin and the possible presence of hygrophilic plants, in the absence of hygrophilic vegetation, the morphology of the soil is sufficient to define a wetland, the delimitation of wetlands is carried out using flood or groundwater levels, or the frequencies and amplitudes of the tides.
  • According to Article 1.1 of the RAMSAR Convention, a wetland is "an area of marshes, fens, peatlands or natural or artificial, permanent or temporary waters, where the water is stagnant or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of…
Source
according to the Environmental Code

WHO standard

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens commun
Value recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the protection of public health, but which is not a mandatory limit value. The WHO standards are intended to serve as guiding principles for the development of national standards which, in turn, take into account the local environmental, social, economic and cultural conditions.
Source
According to the Ministry for the Environment and AFB

Willingness to pay

Updated on 13/07/2018
Définition
Sens technique
Amount that the surveyed people are willing to pay to avoid the degradation of an environmental good or for its improvement. Willingness to pay (WTP) is an expression in Euros of the difference in wellbeing (or satisfaction) associated with the deterioration / improvement of the environment.
Source
According to Patrice Dumas (economist)