Within the context of the European Water Framework Directive, the main objective of France is to implement groundwater monitoring systems in industrial sites.
The sites concerned are:
•the polluted and potentially polluted sites listed in the BASOL database (http://basol.ecologie.gouv.fr)
•sites where soil and groundwater contamination might rapidly occur in case of dysfunction
Groundwater quality monitoring makes it possible to detect pollution very rapidly and limit the extent of impacts and remediation costs. Monitoring might
also provide a guarantee when a site is sold or activity ceases.
Groundwater monitoring can be included in the constraints attached to a given site. In this case, obligations to act, usage restrictions or precautions
to be taken can be imposed. Groundwater quality monitoring is, therefore, part of an efficient environment management system for the site owner.
The data collected will be systematically entered into the national ADES database (http://www.ades.eaufrance.fr) in order to ensure reliability and facilitate
the detection of any changes in water quality that can only be observed over long periods.
One of the key actions of the National Plan for Health and the Environment (PNSE - Plan National pour la Santé et l'Environnement) is to guarantee that citizens
have good quality drinking water. The National Plan intends to protect all drinking water wells withdrawing groundwater.
A first stage, at the end of which 80 % of the wells were to be protected, was to be completed in 2008 and 500 new wells were protected in 2004.
The main objective for the DDASS (Direction Départementale des Affaires Sanitaires et Sociales) is to protect 1,000 new wells.
The Inspectorate of Classified Installations is in charge of the widespread implementation of groundwater monitoring of contaminated industrial sites.
On June 15, 2005, 80 % of these industrial sites were being monitored.
The National Plan also includes major studies of pesticides (and their derivatives) in order to improve groundwater protection. These measures will be
specifically adapted to the case of mercury contamination in French Guiana (South America).
The Water Law aims:
•to give government officials, local communities and stakeholders tools:
•to reach ecological quality objectives for water (in compliance with the European Commission Framework Directive of December 22, 2000, transposed into
French law by the Water Law of April 21, 2004)
•to reach a better balance between water resources and needs from a perspective of sustainable development of economic activities
•to foster dialogue between stakeholders
•to help towns and cities adapt drinking water supply and sanitation services to the new stakes:
•transparency for users
•solidarity with those in need
The EU Water Framework Directive (Directive cadre 2000/60/CE et circulaire DCE 2003/07 relatives au cahier des charges pour l'évolution des réseaux de
surveillance des eaux souterraines) requires that European states implement groundwater monitoring systems.
The Public Health Policy Law of August 9, 2004 (the Decree for the enforcement of this law was to be adopted in 2005) facilitates the acquisition of land and
simplifies protection-zone implementation processes in order to protect groundwater wells.
The Directive of November 26, 2004 defines the role of the Departmental Health and Social Services Office (DDASS - Direction Départementale des Affaires
Sanitaires et Sociales) as a Public Administration in charge of groundwater wells (authorization and control).
The Circular DGS/SD7A no. 2005/59 of January 31, 2005 asked Prefects to set up Departmental programmes to protect all wells before 2010.
A new Water Law came into effect on December 31, 2006 to transpose the EU Water Framework Directive.