Téléphone :
+33 (0)
Adresse :
50 avenue de Verdun - Gazinet - 33612 Cestas Cedex

The Bordeaux research center is one of Irstea's nine centers. Located on the main site of Cestas-Gazinet, its research, public policy support, and appraisal activities focus on 3 main fields : managing water and aquatic environments, the interface between water and land use management and water infrastructure asset management.

The center most often carries out Its research in collaboration with French and European public laboratories (University of Bordeaux, University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour, CNRS, INRA, Ifremer, etc.), private companies and research units.

The Irstea Bordeaux center also participates in higher education, particularly with universities and grandes écoles.
The center partners with LabEx COTE and mainly helps develop techniques to evaluate, control and predict the quality of aquatic ecosystems and changes in fish populations from rivers to estuaries.

The center has been a member of the Xylofutur competitive cluster since 2010. This partnership has strengthened the center's relationship with stakeholders in the wood fuel sector from production to processing. Researchers contribute their skills to the social and human sciences.

The research, agriculture and environment ministries, European Union, ANR (National Research Agency), Aquitaine region, "ONEMA" (National Office for Water and Aquatic Environments), Adour Garonne Water Agency, EDF and other organizations support the center's research activities.

Regional Director : Frédéric Saudubray

Key figures

  • Two research units
  • A team of general services and research support
  • 180 employees, half of which are researchers and engineers
  • Meet some of our employees
  • About 20 PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows per year
  • About 30-35 employees with fixed-term contracts
  • About 25-30 interns from higher education institutions
  • The center has an annual budget of 7 million euros (excluding permanent employee payroll), of which 70% comes from own resources through research contracts or transfers. 

Two research units

Aquatic ecosystems and global change

Environment, territory and infrastructure

Research focus

Adapt'eau project : How do we foresee challenges from global change in fluvial and estuarine environments?

ANR's research project "Adapt'eau" (Adapting to variations in water regimes (floods/low water) in Garonne-Gironde's fluvial and estuarine environment. Possible scenarios, trials and governance of adaptation options.) contributes to the analysis and management of adaptation to global change in fluvial and estuarine environments. The project's main goal is to formulate adaptation strategies capable of foreseeing challenges that may arise from global change.
The approach that was implemented helps integrate biophysical sciences, social and human sciences and Garonne-Gironde's local stakeholders in the project's three complementary phases: (1) analysis and conclusions on adaptation from various disciplines; (2) four interdisciplinary scenarios on changes in land use by 2050; (3) discussion of these scenarios with stakeholders from the Garonne-Gironde continuum.
The final symposium of the "Adapt'eau" project will take place on 15 October 2015 ("Bordeaux Sciences Agro" campus) and underline the project's results.
For further information:

Environmental policies: Is everyone equal?

Are environmental policies a source of social inequality? ANR's EFFIJIE* project led by Irstea explores this question for which few studies exist in France.

In the context of global environmental change, people are encouraged to help more in protecting the environment through various public policies : creating protected areas, limiting pesticide use, etc. But will all social categories be asked to make the same effort? In other words: is there inequality in environmental commitment? The "EFFIJIE" project (2014-2018), led by Irstea, tries to answer this question by conducting a comparative study of biodiversity (national parks) and water quality (MAET**, Grenelle catchments) protection measures in mainland France and Reunion Island. The aim is to investigate our researchers' assumption that more impoverished populations will bear more of the weight of such efforts.
* L'EFFort environnemental comme Inégalité : Justice et Iniquité au nom de l'Environnement (Environmental effort as a source of inequality: justice and iniquity for the environment)
** Region-specific agri-environmental measures

Evaluation of the ecological status of water courses

Diagram illustrating Bordeaux center's research activitiesAs part of its support role for the Water Framework Directive, Irstea provides documents and tools for the implementation of hydrobiology evaluation protocols that it develops.

EU Water Framework Directive (WFD)


Casses : prevention software for water pipes

Waterworks managers and local authorities regularly encounter problems relating to burst water pipes and the need to renew pipe networks. The Irstea Bordeaux center has designed software that detects the most fragile pipe sections, ranks sections according to risks and thereby prioritizes the prevention work to be carried out. This helps maintain a 24-hour water supply service.

Research topics

Scientific and technical information

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