Networks Planning for Water Investigations

Denis Couillard

DOI: 10.2190/JKRV-HXYY-09L4-6RAY


Ever mindful of the need to minimize the repercussions of management actions on the aquatic system and to preserve the diversity of individual choices for the generations to come, the manager is confronted with the urgency and the quality of his decisions. Often, the lack of directly useful historical precedents and the absence of decisional criteria based on a profound understanding of environmental processes oblige him to opt, at great cost, for the socially secure aspects of management and for discrete, sectorialized interventions. The systematic acquisition of basic data is indispensable for all levels involved in the preparation of environmental interventions. In effect, data acquisition networks concerning water resources provide the bases on which managers and investors alike depend for determining the viability of industrial, urban, or agricultural development. On the other hand, data acquisition networks permit consideration of the present and future availability of water as a function of technology. Specifically, data must be collected on surface waters, groundwater, wastewaters (municipal and industrial), and precipitation. The data acquisition network must permit not only an evaluation of the quantity and quality of actual water reserves but also the determination of water availability in space and time. This article analyzes the methods for acquiring water quality data employed in Great Britain and in Holland. For these countries, the groups responsible for the data acquisition network are described by analyzing their objectives, techniques, successes and failures, efficiency, financial backing, personnel, and methods of data treatment.

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