The first challenge is to anticipate changes affecting water resources by improving knowledge about its past and future variability. This is largely based on the development of a lysimeter network to observe groundwater recharge, hydrogeological modelling including human activities, and seasonal forecasts.


Florence Habets
Florence Habets
CNRS Research, Professor at the ENS, Geology Laboratory of the ENS
Simon Munier
Simon Munier
Sustainable Development Research Officer at the National Centre for Meteorological Research (CNRM - UMR3589), Météo-France
Thierry Pellarin
Thierry Pellarin
CNRS Research Director, Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE), Grenoble


Challenge 1 involves estimating water resources in France over the past few decades and using forecasts for the next six months. The aim is to gain a better understanding of the conditions under which extreme climatic phenomena can occur, to better anticipate risk situations through three main actions:

1. Developing a national lysimeter network to acquire information on rainfall distribution between evaporation, run-off and infiltration, and to characterize the dynamics of groundwater recharge. The network must enable the acquisition of data on a daily basis at least, with real-time transmission at existing sites. To facilitate this, lysimeters (the most cost-effective models possible) will be tested and assessed, then installed at certified sites.

2. Improving historical hydro-meteorological re-analyses to reconstitute the history of water catchments. This involves integrating old data, using high-resolution meteorological models and incorporating the impact of human activities on hydrology.

3. Enhancing two existing seasonal hydro(geo)logical forecasting platforms dedicated to low-water flows and groundwater. This will involve:

  • Building multi-model seasonal meteorological forecasts corrected for regionalization.
  • The spatial extension of these platforms by integrating new digital models and/or applications.
  • Improving initial conditions by developing data assimilation methods.
  • Integrating, in forecast mode, the anthropogenic impacts on water resources, such as abstractions, water diversion and dams.
Picture of a dried-up river framed by the key points of Challenge 1 on Anticipation

Challenge 1 - Anticipating changes affecting water resources

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