22 March 2021
Cours d'eau au Maroc dans une zone aride
J. Clarysse - Pixabay
World Water Day, which takes place this March 22 is an opportunity to raise public awareness of the importance of water in the life of local players and its value. Cerema is working on these issues, to provide methodological tools to local players.

On the occasion of World Water Day, a presentationof two projects related to water management: a cooperation with North-African countries and the launch of a website with resources on alternative management of rainwater.


A Europe-Maghreb cooperation around the management of water resources

Escalier descendant vers une Oasis en Tunisie
Oasis in Tunisia - Pixabay

Along with Inrae (Institut national de la recherche agronomique) Cerema is one of the international organizations participating in a series of webinars organized by the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water Sector (EMWIS) in the framework of the Regional Coordination for Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Maghreb region.

The objective is to share experiences with about forty representatives of counterpart structures to the Water Agencies and to the Water Police (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia).

The stakes are high in the Maghreb region: The scarcity of water resources, in quantity and quality, is a characteristic of the of the semi-arid climate of this region. This situation is aggravated by increasing water needs, due to population growth, improved living standards, the extension of irrigation as well as tourism and industrial development, all this in a context of climate change.

Webinars are organized to present feedback from approaches carried out in France, selected by Cerema, which has identified many actions in the field of sustainable water resources management, such as the use of treated wastewater.

On February 4, a webinar was dedicated to the desalination of sea water. It was carried out by a representative of the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and was supported by a virtual visit of the system implemented by the Murcia community in Spain.

An upcoming webinar led by Inrae will focus on innovative water saving solutions to implement in agricultural irrigation.

On March 4, the webinar co-organized by Cerema, focused on water conservation and sharing of water resources. It allowed to present briefly some feedback from French experiences of the use of treated wastewater and other water saving solutions from the case published by Cerema.

The two virtual tours in this Webinar focused on two approaches:

  1. Water management in Porquerolles, presented by by Stéphane Penverne, representative of the regional natural of Port-Cros;

  2. The metropolis of Marseille, to explain how the selection of the most appropriate treatment plants for a project to use treated wastewater, presented by Nicolas Wepierre, from the association ARPE-ARBE.

These two virtual visits introduced the discussions in workshops on the possible solutions to engage with stakeholders and then to evaluate opportunities for action.

Apart from the use of treated wastewater, Cerema has highlighted other more decentralized solutions for water management in favour of adaptation of buildings to climate change. A study conducted in Haute-Normandie on summer comfort in buildings has highlighted the qualities of buildings that can cope with the effects of climate change.

The management of rainwater on the plot and its recovery for uses in the building, allows both to control the risk of flooding and to reduce drinking water consumption.


Tools for alternative stormwater management

Cerema launches a website dedicated to the management of stormwater management, in order to provide resources and to offer support to the stakeholders on the field.

This site has been developed to bring together on a single platform the tools and resources to implement integrated rainwater management solutions, that is to say, by encouraging its infiltration as close as possible to where it falls.

It is based on the results of research conducted within the framework of two research projects:

  • ADEPTE (2013-2019): this project project has developed a tool to assist in the sizing of reed filters to treat urban wastewater that does not pass through wastewater treatment plants during rainy periods, such as water from roadways.

  • ADSORB: Conducted within the framework of the LIFE program, this project has allowed to test an innovative solution to reduce the loads of micropollutants of the rainwater by planted reed filters.


At the end of these projects, a lot of operational data and recommendations are available, and have been gathered on this platform dedicated to Stormwater Management.

Zone de tests de filtration par roseaux dans le cadre du projet Adepte
Adepte project experimentation site - Cerema

The platform also presents the software tool FAVEUR which was developed by Cerema and allows to estimate the hydric of green roofs.

A mapping of stormwater management projects especially in stormwater outfalls, carried out during the Adept during the Adept project, is available. It lists 44 projects concerning different types of sites: housing, industrial, commercial, roads.

The contextual and technical data concerning the four demonstration sites monitored for two years are also available, as well as videos that explain how they work. Project developers can register a stormwater management project.

Recent publications on stormwater management