Water is needed, according to a United Nations report, for 78% of global economic activity. It is also more than ever an essential element of spatial planning. Because this resource tends to become rare, but also due to the changes induced by the evolution of the climate with fewer but more violent rainfalls and a drying up of the soil. These phenomena require the development of water management at territorial level to integrate local meteorological and geological particularities. What Sylvain Boucher, president of the Aqua-Valley cluster summarizes in a formula: “The scales of reflection must correspond territories: a territory, a project. For him, it is necessary to “move to the logic of the hydro-district, as we have known how to develop eco-districts, to integrate the need for sobriety and efficiency in the water cycle. »
Integrate water issues upstream of urban planning projects
Lto conferences, technical workshops and business meetings that punctuated the Aqua Business Days
fostered exchanges between the main players in the water sector and spatial planning who are not necessarily used to meeting each other. Representatives of the basin agencies,
insurance companies and the world of designers were thus able to lay the foundations for a dialogue and start a reflection on common steps to be taken to conserve water resources e
optimize their reuse in a context of climate change. Technological devices to exist. There is still a need to bring resource managers and development decision makers together
upstream of the project study phases to change the way cities are designed and built sustainable schemes and build the local urban plan taking into account the quantity of water and the purification capacity of the territory.
Thinking and developing the reuse of resources
Advances in pathogen treatment, water analysis and traceability now allow you to consider the reuse of water on a large scale. Numerous experiments have been carried out in the last fifteen years and attest to the effectiveness and security of these solutions, already widely implemented in Italy and Spain. In France, Orly terminals 1, 2 and 3 save 200,000m³ of water a year by collecting and treating rainwater from the runways. In Grenoble, Bouygues imagined a building capable of recycling rainwater and water used by tenants and then using it for irrigation, cleaning or even for draining water. With the key to a 60% reduction in your water cycle. In Montpellier, the irrigation of the vineyards with water from the purifier began 12 years ago with a camazing observation: this water is of better quality for the vines than the water from the nearby stream! Other tests are popping up everywhere, like in La Grande-Motte where the water from the purifier it is used for the irrigation of the golf course during the summer period, or also in Toulouse where the washing of the streets and the trams partly use recycled water.
Involve all stakeholders and the local population
While the preparatory phase of the 12th intervention program of the water agencies (2025-2030) is about to start, the actors gathered during the Aqua Business Days agree on the need to all decision makers have a clear understanding of the available solutions and the successful experiments. Supervisory authorities must also have the courage to issue authorizations to experiment on a territorial scale to encourage innovation and change practice. Because if certain guidelines must be decided at a national level, the solutions do
be developed at the scale of a city, a neighborhood or a building. By creating, for example, green spaces, rain gardens or vegetated ditches to limit runoff and retain
the water. Achieving these goals requires close consultation between stakeholders, water managers and public authorities. It is also necessary to involve the population in the reflection and to obtain the support of the
consumers in the consumption reduction plan.
Water management is therefore everyone’s business. The challenges are considerable and the solutions exist. The The Aqua Business Days have shown the way forward, welcome to the organisers.