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IFGR’s 7th international session: debate on the resilience of territories to climate change

Climate change is disturbing territories and threatens their water resources. What reactions are necessary? The aim of our 7th session (from 15 to 19 October at Toulouse and Bordeaux / France), devoted to the Adour-Garonne basin, is to provide new solutions.

This summer, the temperatures of our thermometers again rose to new heights and drought widened its hold. The period of being alarmed is long gone and the need to act has become more pressing. In southwest France, in the heart of the Adour-Garonne basin, numerous actors are involved in preserving water resources and ensuring fairer distribution between its many different uses. It is the most vulnerable basin in France (see key figures), and the stakes are high, environmental ones of course, but economic and social too, as the population is predicted to rise by 1.5 million from now to 2050, on the coast and in the major cities.


Resilience, needs and availability

IFGR has decided to hold its 7th session at Toulouse and Bordeaux, close to the terrain and priorities, to observe, analyse and discuss solutions for the future with all the stakeholders: the Adour-Garonne Basin Committee (which recently published its Climate Change Adaptation Plan), the Water Agency, the government, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie regions, the cities of Toulouse and Bordeaux, and the different economic actors concerned.

Together, we will deal with the theme of territorial resilience to climate change by focusing on a central issue: how can the needs for water be reconciled with its availability?

Bringing concrete solutions to light

Faced with hydric stress, restrictions are regularly imposed during the summer, both on the distribution of water for domestic use or for agriculture. Other measures to sustain low water levels are also taken with the managers of hydroelectricity dams.

However, these remain emergency measures. It is necessary to rethink how water and its uses are managed, by looking towards a long-term vision, collective reflection and the capacity to innovate in particular to design new and more economic techniques for water. The works during the session will focus on three main directions: water for agriculture, with the quest for more efficient irrigation methods; water for cities with the challenges of urbanisation and drinking water; water for ecosystems in order to maintain them in good condition and, ultimately, to ensure the services they offer; and lastly, a new governance for water for adaptative water resource management on the scale of the territory.

IFGR will make its multidisciplinary and international contribution to promote rivers as living entities at the heart of territorial development in parallel with the start of the second phase of the Conference on Water, dedicated to the issue of adaptation to climate change and supervised by the French government.

An event hosted and co-organised with Préfecture de Région d’Occitanie, Bordeaux Métropole and the Agence de l’Eau Adour-Garonne and the CACG.

KEY FIGURE: 1 billion m3

This is the water deficit that could be reached in the Adour-Garonne basin by 2050. The current deficit between requirements and resources is currently 200-250 million m3. “The forward studies carried out in the past (Garonne 2050) and today (Dordogne and Adour 2050) confirm that new environmental objectives and new uses, though necessary, will not be enough to offset this deficit and demand that genuine and substantial responses be made rapidly.

Source: Climate adaptation plan for the Adour-Garonne basin. 

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