GT EAU – WG WATER – Aquatic ecosystems and uses

Context: what water for tomorrow?

The world’s population is constantly growing, leading to greater pressure on water resources. The use of these resources has increased exponentially in the last century due to demographic trends. For example, it is estimated that in 1900 humanity consumed about 700 km3 of freshwater per year, an amount that increased to almost 5000 km3 or seven times in 2000, mainly for agriculture (70%) and industry. (20%), while domestic use represents only 10% of global consumption. This pressure on water resources is exacerbated by global warming, which is leading to both a change in hydrological conditions and an increase in the frequency of extreme events (IPCC, 2022).


At the same time, human activities, particularly agricultural and industrial, have significantly affected freshwater quality and altered the ecological functioning of the aquatic environment. For example, increasing nutrient loading to water bodies, combined with human activities, is accelerating the eutrophication of many systems, decreasing their biodiversity and altering their functioning.

Emerging chemical or microbiological contaminants pose new threats to water quality and the health of ecosystems and human populations. It is therefore necessary to maintain and/or rehabilitate hydrosystems to ensure the supply of high-quality water that meets the needs of society, while guaranteeing the health of the natural environment.


The objective of the Water Working Group is therefore to understand how human activities and climate change affect the hydrological and ecological functioning of aquatic systems, from both quantitative and qualitative points of view from different disciplinary perspectives.

This research must combine knowledge in ecology (bioindication, trophic functions, carbon cycling, paleolimnology), earth sciences (pedology, geology, hydrology and hydrogeology, geochemistry, geophysics), geography, human, social and economic sciences, and technology.

They must be conducted at different spatial and temporal scales, initiating long-term monitoring and the study of past environments. These studies must also be useful for public decision-making and be based not only on a simple logic of knowledge transfer, but on genuine consultation and collaboration between managers and scientists.


The WG Water is based on the technical platforms PEA²T of UMR 6249 and GISMO of UMR 6282, on OSU THETA, and on the poles DIPEE and SV2TEA, important actors of the UBFC scientific policy, especially in the field of water.
It is part of the national research infrastructures OZCAR (Critical Zone Observatory: Applications and Research, INSU, SNO Karst, SNO OMIV, SNO H+, SNO RENOIR, SNO Tourbières) and ZA (Workshop Zones, INEE, Workshop Zone the Jura Arc) and European eLTER (Long Term Ecosystem Research in Europe). From a numerical point of view, the GT UAE will mobilize the atmospheric simulation center of UMR 5561; the banking of data from projects developed in the framework of the GT UAE will be ensured by data@osu.

Coordinators of the working group: Hélène Celle and Hélène Masclaux.

Current projects


AUVERWATCH is a network monitoring network for Auvergne’s water bodies since 2014.


Transdisciplinary research on karstic waters.


Hydro-SISMology, an innovative approach to studying underground WATER reservoirs subjected to extreme CLIMATE phenomena.


Projet Inter-axes I-SITE
SENSors and Analyses for AquiferS.


The aim of this research project is to specify the water circulation model in the Volvic basin in a context where the question of water use is becoming increasingly important.


The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the environmental, biological and socio-economic parameters and processes that control the fate of carbon in water bodies.