VOLVIC-SHARE- Sustainability of Hydrosystems in Auvergne : Recharge and Evolution, Volvic watershed

This research project is part of a context in which the question of water use has been increasingly raised for several years, given the importance of water resource uses within the Volvic catchment, both for the public drinking water network (AEP) and for bottled water (Société des Eaux de Volvic, part of the Danone group). In this context, maintaining water levels in the natural environment is becoming increasingly difficult at low-water levels, with the outlets of the aquifer system showing declining flows, leading to usage conflicts between the State and local stakeholders. The aim of this research project is to specify the water circulation model in the Volvic catchment area on several points:
– defining the boundaries of the water masses in the catchment area and determining the relationships between them, in order to propose a conceptual model of how the hydrosystem functions, based on multi-proxy approaches involving the coupling of the chemistry of major elements, hydrogeological monitoring and the use of chemical and isotopic tracers (chlorofluorocarbons – CFCs; tritium – 3H; noble gases), which will make it possible to determine groundwater ages and transfer and response times within the catchment area.
– defining the recharge of the system, its geographical distribution (local effects) and its evolution over the past few years on the basis of a revised and robust waterl budget (ESPERE® spreadsheet).
– proposing a hydrological model (GARDENIA®) of the Volvic aquifer system based on the use of more than 30 years of input data (precipitation, flow rates, ETP, withdrawals) which make it possible to establish the hydrological budget of the Volvic catchment and to constrain its evolution over time.
This work will enable us to better characterise the decline in this resource and, more specifically, its origin and impact on the environment, which has never been addressed until now. The aim is to anticipate quantitative changes in water resources in the face of climate change and/or changes in water abstraction, in order to provide managers with assistance in managing the quality and quantity of water resources.

Funding : Agence de l’Eau Loire Bretagne (AELB), Département du Puys de Dôme (DDT63), Communauté d’agglomération Riom Limagne Volcan (RLV), Syndicat Mixte des Utilisateurs d’Eau de la Région de Riom (SMUERR)
Budget : €163,474.40
Coordination : Hélène Celle – helene.celle@univ-fcomte.fr ; Pierre Nevers – pierre.nevers@univ-fcomte.fr
Project duration: 24 months
Key words: hydrological modelling; water budget; resource management; anthropogenic pressure; climate change; future projections

Project leaders : Hélène Celle, Xavier Bertrand, Philippe Amiotte-Suchet, Thomas Karbowiak, Jean-Charles Beugnot, Kien Phan Huy

Teams involved :

UMR 6249 Chrono-Environnement (CNRS, UFC) – Porteur
UMR 6282 BioGéoSciences (CNRS, UB)
UMR PAM, Procédés Alimentaires et Microbiologiques (AgroSup-Dijon, UB)

The project will be set up on sites belonging to UFC’s internationally accredited observation services: Jurassic Karst (SNO Karst, ZAAJ, IR OZCAR, IR ZA, eLTER) et AUVERWATCH (SNO H+, SNO RENOIR, IR OZCAR, eLTER, GNIP-AIEA).