BRGM moves into groundwater monitoring

Following the 1992 French Water Act, global management of the resource became essential. At the time the Act came into force, individuals and stakeholders in the water sector were looking for information on groundwater monitoring. Since 1998, BRGM participates in the publication of the hydrological status bulletin.

Prélèvement d'une fiole d'eau pour analyse, à Montluçon (Allier, 1990)
Removal of a vial of water for analysis at Montluçon (Allier, 1990). © BRGM

There was significant development of groundwater monitoring networks in 1998. This development was linked to the need induced by the Water Act of March 1992, to manage the resource as a whole (surface waters/groundwater) which meant making a survey of all available French water resources.

The amount of BRGM activity in 1998 suggested that there would be an increasing demand for services for monitoring the quality of aquifers, which is one of the main subjects of interest to BRGM’s public partners. These include both the natural quality of groundwater and pollution related to human activity, as well as the protection of dams for drinking water supply. 

A significant demand for groundwater monitoring

There was also a significant demand for information systems, which are designed to make data available to stakeholders in the water sector or to the public.
That year, BRGM played a coordinating role in monitoring groundwater and took part in compiling the hydrological status bulletin, which was published five times a year by the partners of the National Water Data Network (RNDE) for monitoring groundwater.

Now monthly, this national hydrological status bulletin (BSH) consists of a set of maps with corresponding comments that present the monthly evolution of water resources. It describes the quantitative situation of aquatic environments (effective rainfall, river discharge, groundwater table levels, reservoir dam filling status) and provides summary information on prefectoral ordinances issued to limit water use during the low-water period.

Surveillance de la qualité de l’eau, dans le cadre du référentiel sur les eaux souterraines
Water quality monitoring, as part of the groundwater baseline.
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