The EUs Water Framework Directive responds to a pressing need to improve water quality across Europe. It commits Member States to meeting the target of "good status" for all waters by 2027. The Pays de la Loire region is characterised by a very dense hydrographic system including 30 000 km of watercourses and large wetland areas (stretching over 250 000 ha). It is heavily affected by water pollution (agricultural, industrial, urban, etc.) and increasingly frequent extreme events such as droughts and floods. According to the 2019 situation report, only 11% of the regions surface water bodies have achieved good status (24% at the Loire-Brittany basin scale), while 25% have bad status. The report stressed that 79% of watercourses are at risk of failing to meet their environmental targets in 2027. The main issues are pesticides, hydrology, morphology, continuity and macro-pollutants in surface, ground and coastal water bodies. This has many negative consequences for biodiversity, human health and the regional economy.
The Loire-Brittany River Basin Management Plan for 2016-2021 was structured around four priorities: acting to ensure water quality; preserving and restoring aquatic environments; ensuring water quantity and sharing of water resources; and organising and managing water and aquatic environments. However, the proportion of rivers in good condition has not improved since the last inventory (2013, published in 2015). Restoring good water status is a key challenge for the Pays de la Loire region. The 2016-2021 plan will be replaced by another for 2022-2027. In addition, the Loire-Brittany Water Agency Territorial Contracts have been merged with the Pays de la Loire regional councils Region River Basin Agreements, consolidating momentum for action by the regional council and the common understanding of challenges between stakeholders.
The main objective of LIFE-IP REVERS'EAU is to implement the Loire Brittany River Basin Management Plan (RMBP) for the Pays de Loire region in full, in order to achieve the Water Framework Directive (WFD) target of 37% of water bodies having good ecological status by 2027.
The project is intended to create favourable conditions for the management plan, with actions aimed at catalysing stakeholders commitment and mobilising funds, both within the project and through complementary actions. LIFE-IP REVERS'EAU will reinforce the overall coherence of measures aimed at farms, programmes applying to local areas and the terms of reference for the economic and agri-food sectors. The project is also designed to spread good practices and achieve a scale change to contribute to restoring good status.
The specific objectives are to: 1. Mobilise regional stakeholders (elected representatives, the general public, local RBMP organisers, urban planners and economic stakeholders) and improve their skills, with a view to meeting the goal of restoring good ecological status for waters in the Pays de la Loire region and sharing the challenges; 2. Implement large-scale initiatives to restore the natural functions of river basins; and 3. Gain additional knowledge (on sociology, hydrology, etc.) aimed at organisations responsible for managing resource restoration initiatives, particularly relating to climate change.
LIFE-IP REVERS'EAU will help to implement a range of EU policy and legislation, including the WFD, Drinking Water Directive, Bathing Water Quality Directive, Flooding Directive, Nitrates Directive and the common agricultural policy, in an area suffering from great human-induced water pressures.
In addition to the project's own budget, it aims to facilitate the coordinated use of about 500 million in complementary funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), Loire Bretagne Water Agency and Pays de la Loire Regional Council.
Expected results: Objective 1