Water is one of ancient myth’s four primordial elements, a compound of the planetary hydrosphere that can exist in three states and a constituent of all living matter. The poet’s billows, the chemist’s H20 and everyman’s rain, water is simultaneously a drink, a living environment for aquatic life, for swimming and boating, a mirror as well as a visual and aural marker in the landscape, a means of defence or repression, a power to turn mills and turbines.
It serves to quench one’s thirst and is used for wetting, dissolving, diluting, washing, swimming, floating or sailing, cooking, heating, watering, putting out fires, hydrotherapy, and for watercolours; but also to flood and to drown, to act as a stimulus for Archimedes, a mirror for Narcissus, an escape route for Moses, a grave for Ophelia.
For mankind, water is the cause of a paradoxical double fear – drought and flood. It is at the heart of the ARCEAU Research Topic – which encompasses studying the water cycle, knowledge and resource management, hazards and risks (flood, drought, pollution) and the evaluation of the impact of global change.
- Aquatic environments, Ecology and Pollution
- River systems and bioprocesses
- Water management, stakeholders and utilisation - UMR G-EAU (Joint Water Research Unit)
- Hydrology – Hydraulics
- Hydraulic structures and hydrology
The teams’ work on the ARCEAU Research Topic is focused on understanding and managing water resources and the study of water-related hazards, addressing four main areas:
- evaluating and tracking changes in water resources and their variability;
- diagnosing and dealing with risks to catchment areas;
- optimising the allocation and management of existing resources;
- anticipating the effects of global change (i.e. climate change but also changes in land use and human pressures related to the need for land).
These goal of these research topics is to improve the management of water-related risks and, more generally, to improve the management of the consequential risks on mankind and his activities. To this end, the Research Topic offers both methods – especially those in support of public policy – and software to improve the management of water resources and its associated risks, taking account of territorial, environmental and societal constraints.
The teams working on this Research Topic are aiming to provide concrete answers to a number of scientific questions:
- How do watersheds work?
Understanding the watershed mechanisms by which climatic demands are transformed into flows of water, sediment and agricultural pollutants
- What is the best way to represent a complex mechanism using mathematical modelling?
Developing mathematical models that are not only descriptive but also predictive
- How should management tools be designed?
Designing tools to manage water transfer, both in rivers and irrigation canals as well as on slopes
- How should hydroclimatic and hydrometeorological hazards be assessed?
Predicting floods and low flows in real time, as a function of time
Determining flood and drought hazards
- How should nonpoint agricultural pollutants be controlled?
Understanding how watersheds transfer agricultural pollutants
Designing improvements to mitigate the impact of nonpoint pollution
Research team websites
- Hydrology – Antony
- Watershed hydrology – Lyon
- The R2D2 project
- OTHU (Field Observatory for Urban Water Management)