Water Commons

The Haut-Jura Regional Nature Park (France)
Location The Haut-Jura Regional Nature Park (France)
Period 2023

The common thread of the commission is the karst landscape which is a component of the Jura mountains.

In the Jura, a mid-mountain territory marked by heavy forestation and a topography of ridges, coombes and valleys but also irrigated by a large network of rivers, natural lakes and wetlands, water represents a major environmental challenge for this region in view of the climate changes underway.

The Haut-Jura Regional Nature Park is an important player as regards the future of water resources. For many years, it has been addressing this issue through actions contributing to the improvement and maintenance of the quality of the hydrographic network on the one hand: restoration of watercourses and ecological continuity, flood prevention, and on the other hand, anticipating the environmental and social challenges of sharing the resource in the diversity of its uses.

As the stakeholder for “Management of aquatic environments and flood prevention”, delegated by the French State, the Haut-Jura Regional Nature Park, alongside other partners and public structures - such as the “public and private syndicates", associations and local authorities - is carrying out actions that are mainly based on the restoration of aquatic and wetland environments, the issues linked to ‘ecological continuity’, and globally the maintenance of the proper functioning and quality of the water resource.

In parallel with the problem of the quality of the resource and the restoration of the environment, the question of the quantity of water will be a crucial issue for the rural mid-range mountains territories in the years to come, in particular due to the quality of its limestone soil.

The common thread of the commission is the karst landscape which is a component of the Jura mountains. Karst means "field of stones" in German, and comes from the Slovenian name kros, which refers to the region of high limestone plateaus. The term was later generalised to sites characterised by large fractured limestone massifs through which water seeps down. The long dry periods observed in recent years have reinforced the vulnerability of the water resource present in the karst, which provides water for 1/3 of the population. In the absence of self-purification in this environment, the preservation of river water quality requires the implementation of respectful practices, and above all of what must be collectively reconsidered as a ‘common good’.

How can this message be conveyed and awareness raised around this very particular geological context: an underground network that is by definition invisible and therefore difficult to understand.

Read more Read less