The Conurbation community of the area of Ajaccio (Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays Ajaccien or CAPA) is committed to reduce the pollution of the Mediterranean Sea in the framework of the Convention “Horizon 2013″ signed with the State in June 2009. With the support of the State, the Water Agency, the Region of Corsica (CTC), the French Department of Southern Corsica and the different stakeholders, the CAPA work with the districts and local authority concerned by the river basin “Gravona – Prunelli – Gulfs of Ajaccio and Lava” trough a sustainable management of water resources : the Water Development and Management Scheme (SAGE).
Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays Ajaccien
Aquatic resources, good ecological and chemical status, consultation, Water Development and Management Scheme (SAGE), stakeholders
The Conurbation community of the area of Ajaccio (Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays Ajaccien or CAPA) is committed to reduce the pollution of the Mediterranean Sea in the framework of the Convention “Horizon 2013″ signed with the State in June 2009. With the support of the State, the Water Agency, the Region of Corsica (CTC), the French Department of Southern Corsica and the different stakeholders, the CAPA work with the districts and local authority concerned by the river basin “Gravona – Prunelli – Gulfs of Ajaccio and Lava” trough a sustainable management of water resources : the Water Development and Management Scheme (SAGE). A consequence of this project will be an environmental contract (contract of bay) on the coastline. The aim is to work with the stakeholders forrestoring the quality of aquatic resources and the promotion of an exceptional natural heritage.
The scope of the SAGE and the contract of bay contract require the participation of different local authorities : members of CAPA, communities of communes from the Upper Valley of Gravona (CCHVG) and from the Valley of Prunelli (CCVP) and those from the syndicate of communes (SIVOM) of the southern Gulf of Ajaccio.
The project is developed in France in the department of Southern Corsica, through the river basin “Gravona, Prunelli, Gulfs of Ajaccio and Lava”
The stakeholders of the project are local authorities, institutional partners, local users (Electricité de France, chamber of commerce and industry, professionals, farmers, associations, residents, etc.) and researchers. The governance of SAGE is provided by the Local Water Commission (CLE). Like a “Water Parliament”, the CLE will support in 2012 the development and the management of the project through recommendations and adoption of deliberations.
The development of a SAGE takes about 5 years in 3 phases: a preliminary phase to define the scope and the composition of the Local Water Commission (CLE), a phase of development (with the identification of the key issues and the redaction of a settlement for the management of the water resources) and the implementation phase. The preparation of a contract of bay takes place over three years (establishment of the committee of the bay with the members of the CLE, getting a final approval before the signature of the contract between stakeholders). Several studies and operations of restoration of the water resources can be developed during the process. Their integration in the SAGE and the contract of bay will facilitate their implementation.
Despite a significant mobilization of stakeholders, it is sometimes difficult to collect recent data. Further studies are planned to refine the diagnosis. Moreover, to ensure that the politicians and the stakeholders are involved over the long term is a challenge. The approach is sometimes seen as too theoretical, while the results are concrete actions. It is essential to get a motivated people to keep the dynamic of the project over time.
An common approach of SAGE and contract of bay is a solution for:
- Organizing a consultation between stakeholders,
- Establishing quality objectives and reducing the alteration of aquatic resources,
- Following the recommendations of the Regional Water Development and Water Management Scheme of the basin of Corsica (SDAGE) in terms of qualitative and quantitative management of water resources,
- Raising specific funds (for education, investment in equipment, work) and providing human resources to assist local authorities and stakeholders (farmers, fishermen, economic operators, associations, etc.)
- Enhancing the attractiveness of the area (improvement of the quality of bathing waters, encouraging the practice of fishing and water sports, etc..)
- Developing actions to improve the living environment of the population.
To achieve a “good ecological and chemical status” for all types of water listed in the Regional Water Development and Water Management Scheme of the basin of Corsica (SDAGE) is one of the objectives of the project. The development of synergy between the stakeholders and the establishment of a common plan of actions are key elements to support the success of the project.
A Water Development and Management Scheme (SAGE) is a planning instrument established for 10 years. It allows to set the objectives of use, development and protection of quality and quantity of the surface water resources and the groundwater, in an area corresponding to a river basin.
It is a real tool for concerted action, with a settlement which is effective against third parties. It aims to develop solidarity across one or more river basins.
The operational implementation of SAGE is an environmental contract (for a river or a bay), which is a program of actions for 5 years in the framework of a moral, technical and financial support from owners and local partners.
It allows the implementation and the funding of different actions for restoring environment and equipments (with support from the Water Agency, the regional environmental Agency, the french department of Southern Corsica, European funds, etc.). It is necessary to have a strong political support and an active animation throughout the project.
This solution is adapted to local authorities wishing to develop an integrated management of their aquatic resources. An important mobilization of the local stakeholders is necessary to prepare a successful approach. The support of institutional partners (State, Water Agency, Region of Corsica) is also essential.
Lot of local authorities in France have already committed to implement this solution (for more information : www.gesteau.eaufrance.fr )
Patrick MADEC, environmental engineer
Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays Ajaccien (France)
Tél : +33 (0)4 95 52 95 00 and email : email@example.com