Public seminar - Agriculture water allocation and groundwater extraction control in France

To reduce water scarcity and drought impacts on society, many countries are attempting to impose extraction caps and reallocate available water resources. This is particularly challenging in agricultural systems where extraction points for irrigation use are diffused and difficult to regulate. To increase compliance to extraction caps, France has opted for decentralised allocation regime where agricultural users within the same hydrological unit share a common license to extract. The agricultural user group must then share the available water between irrigators while complying. No market mechanism is used.

This talk will present some of the rules designed by these user groups and will discuss the extent to which the French model is achieving an effective control on agricultural extraction in coherence with the spatial and temporal variability of water resources. An evaluation of their equitable and efficient nature will also be highlighted.

About the speaker

Dr Josselin Rouillard works for the French Geological Survey (Brgm) on groundwater management and agricultural irrigation systems. He has worked extensively on European water and agriculture policy as part of consultancy and research work for the European Commission and for the European Environmental Agency at the Ecologic Institute. He holds a Bachelor in Environmental Sciences (Reading University), Master in Environmental Management (Oxford University) and PhD in Environmental Systems (Dundee/Edinburgh University). More information on his current research project can be found here.