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Towards sustainable development

Published January 2012

Three laws provide the basis for French water policy. The 1964 water law institutes joint management of water in its natural setting, the hydrographic basin, with the creation of basin committees in which all the stakeholders are represented. The 1984 fishing law introduces the notion of preserving aquatic environments. The 1992 water law establishes water as the Nation’s common heritage. The law institutes the principle of balanced resource management, aiming to ensure the preservation of aquatic ecosystems and wetlands, water restoration and regeneration, economic uses of water and flood protection. 
A new law on water and wetlands was adopted on the 30th December 2006. Without challenging the three founding water management laws of 1964, 1984 and 1992, this text provides France with the tools enabling it to fulfil European requirements and to therefore achieve good water and aquatic environment status in 2015. The law institutes the right to drinking water access in economically acceptable conditions for each individual and makes the workings of the public water and sanitation service more transparent. The text also creates a framework incorporating the necessary climate change-related adaptations.
See the booklet on  the french water management system edited by the IOW.