• Catchment area of an Auverwatch site
    Catchment area of an Auverwatch site
  • Auverwatch sites map
    Auverwatch sites map
  • Human- Environnement Interaction around Allier river
    Human- Environnement Interaction around Allier river
  • Samplings on an Auverwatch site
    Samplings on an Auverwatch site
  • Auverwatch valley
    Auverwatch valley



Manager of the Auverwatch site : Hélène Celle-Jeanton


The Auverwatch project aims at the quantitative and qualitative follow-up of characteristic water masses in Auvergne in order to observe the long-term evolution of these hydrosystems depending on anthropogenic modifications and climatic change. Four hydrogeological analogues have been selected, including rainfall, alluvial hydrosystem, volcanic aquifer and thermo-mineral circulations.

The project focuses especially on the alluvial aquifer of the Allier River, that plays both an important socio-economic role - drinking water supply and agricultural development – and an ecological role as a part of the Loire watershed.


Scientific Goals

Two main axes are being developed:

1) a long-term follow-up of the hydrodynamic and hydrochemical parameters with for objectives, the study of the evolution of the quality and quantity of water in relation with anthropic and climatic modifications and the production of tools for the water management by competent authorities;

2) transdisciplinary experiments on the alluvial aquifer, combining hydrogeology, hydrochemistry, geophysics and optics.


These different axes of study are implemented on 2 sites: 

- the Val d'Allier catchment area, consisting of 71 pumping wells associated with observation piezometers and used by Clermont Auvergne Métropole to produce 80% of its drinking water supply ;

 - the Port-Douvot experimental site, located near Besançon in Burgundy Franche-Comté, consisting of a pumping well and 8 piezometers associated with fibre optics.

The aim of the studies carried out on these 2 sites is to better constrain the pressures exerted on the alluvial aquifers and to improve the understanding of the aquifer/river relationships with a focus on the reactivity of the alluvial deposits.


Figure 1. Localisation of the AUVERWATCH sites in France