There is growing demand for the preservation of ecosystems. Against this background, planning and management of aquatic environments that preserve their biodiversity is developing at a rate of 10% per annum in France.
The markets are a response to regulation (Framework Directive on Water, compensation for destruction of habitats, etc.) or to social issues (prevention of flood and low water levels, protection against erosion, thermal buffering, embellishment, biodiversity reservoirs, refilling of the water-table, depollution, etc.) Outside France, market conditions are governed by social issues, especially in areas surrounding expanding urban zones.
Against this background, ecological engineering plays its part through planning and maintenance of habitats, on a case-by-case basis, working together with local stakeholders. It accentuates natural processes so that habitats can fulfil the desired purposes. It reinforces biodiversity by enabling society in general to become aware of the importance of ecosystems.
Alexandre Folmer - Project manager
Priority areas in the field
Development of urban wetland ecosystems.
Renaturisation of watercourses and wetlands, through an approach suited to the context of Northeast France.
- (Re-)creation, renovation, diversification and management of wetland areas
- Using constructed wetlands for water purification
- Prevention of flooding by increasing inundation of the floodplain upstream and plot-by-plot management
- Alternative rainwater management
In 2014, HYDREOS launched a working group on water management in eco-districts. The aim of this group is for its members to steer the Centre’s collective action (monitoring, events, initiatives, communications, etc.) to meet the shared needs of HYDREOS members. One of the group’s areas of interest is the question of alternative rainwater management.
AZHUREV, Constructing a Wetland in Reims for Purification and Wildlife
The aim of AZHUREV is to test the performance of water treatment in a wetland whilst, at the same time, conducting an experiment concerned with standards for ecological engineering.
The originality of this project lies in:
- the size of the wetland to be constructed: five to ten hectares in the first stage rising to 160 hectares by the time it is complete
- work to be carried out simultaneously on purification performance and describing the development of biodiversity: one of the first trials of the Ecological Engineering Standard NF X10-900
- the social acceptability of the site
In order to conduct this project, a consortium was set up. It comprises small and medium-size companies (Sinbio, Métis Ingénierie, ESOPE), a laboratory (LRGP) and a local authority (Reims Métropole). Co-financing (750 thousand euros) was secured under the terms of the call for projects by the Stratégie Nationale pour la Biodiversité (National Biodiversity Strategy).
Support for this project provided by HYDREOS consisted in bringing together the grant holder, Sinbio, with Métis Ingénierie and the laboratory, assisting in setting up the project and identifying aims that were ambitious in terms of innovation.