The 4th action plan of CIPEL is articulated around three main strategic axes, 12 themes and 29 actions
ACTION PLAN 2021-2030
Technical actions in one click:
- Document the impacts of water-based activities on the coastline
- Create a platform for exchanges on the monitoring of drinking water quality and treatment
- Continue and strengthen communication to users on the consequences of climate change
- Promote urban water management and the fight against sealing and chronic pollution
- Promote harmonized monitoring of wastewater discharges during wet weather and prescribe targets for limiting such discharges
- Develop coordinated transboundary action to reduce micropollutant discharges from urban and industrial wastewater
- Establish a comprehensive management strategy for exogenous and undesirable plant and animal species
- Promote knowledge and encourage the exchange of good practices between agricultural actors in favor of an agriculture that respects water quality
- Sharing the modalities of actions to reduce the presence of drug residues in aquatic environments
- Disseminate the results of micropollutant monitoring and risk reduction measures
- To set up a follow-up of the thermal installations
- Establish an overview of the progress of the shoreline renaturation work and develop recommendations
- Continue to communicate on the status and importance of natural environments
Recreational water activities and swimming water
IMPACTS OF NAUTICAL ACTIVITIES ON THE COASTLINE
The demand for recreational space and leisure activities at the interface with natural environments is constantly expanding, and aquatic environments, particularly Lake Geneva, are no exception to this rule. These nautical activities generate different levels of disturbance of aquatic ecosystems.
The challenge for the CIPEL is to communicate effectively on the potential negative impacts of nautical activities on natural aquatic environments, and to propose tools and measures to reduce these impacts.
Drinking water resource
EXCHANGE PLATFORM AROUND THE MONITORING OF THE QUALITY AND TREATMENT OF DRINKING WATER
Lake Geneva is used as a drinking water supply by nearly one million people living along its banks. The various actors involved in the monitoring of the resource and drinking water are constantly striving to adapt monitoring to the evolution of analysis techniques and the improvement of knowledge on pressures.
There is currently no authority or platform in charge of relaying between the research carried out on the lake waters and the water producers/distributors who could be interested in the evolution of the research. The CIPEL wishes to develop and promote the exchange of information and know-how on the level of the analysis techniques and the substances researched (which may be present), with the water distributors and the Swiss and French health authorities, by creating a collaborative platform.
CONTINUE AND STRENGTHEN COMMUNICATION WITH USERS ON THE CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Several evolutions of the functioning conditions of the lake ecosystem are due to varying degrees and more or less directly to climate change. These evolutions lead on the one hand to the implementation of measures of adaptation or protection/preservation of the services rendered by the ecosystem, and on the other hand possibly to modifications of perception of the lake.
The appropriation of these adaptation measures by the users of ecosystem services is one of the conditions for their success; it is therefore essential to explain them upstream, and to collect the users' opinions on their implementation.
PROMOTE URBAN WATER MANAGEMENT AND THE FIGHT AGAINST SEALING AND CHRONIC POLLUTION
In urban areas, stormwater runoff is often conveyed through a network of pipes before being discharged into the receiving environment. Stormwater can carry contaminants, accumulated pollution from surfaces or pollution from sewer systems. Stormwater discharges can also cause significant disruptions to the hydrologic regime of receiving streams.
In recent urban contexts, so-called "at-source" stormwater management is widely encouraged, as it is considered to be both a relevant solution to overcome the possible inadequacies of centralized sewerage systems and a means of reducing the effects of development on the water cycle.
PROMOTE A HARMONIZED APPROACH TO MONITORING WET WEATHER WASTEWATER DISCHARGES AND PRESCRIBE TARGETS FOR LIMITING SUCH DISCHARGES
To compensate for the inadequacy of the wastewater transport networks during intense rainfall, specific arrangements are planned so that in the event of overloading due to parasitic clear water, part of the water can be discharged from the pipes. The discharged wastewater which then joins the watercourses, directly or after a simple screening, or even a settling tank, represents a non-negligible contribution of pollution for the natural environment.
They are estimated at about 10% of the total loads discharged by collective sanitation systems, but the data remain incomplete. The survey carried out by the CIPEL in 2015-2016 among 116 wastewater treatment plants in the Lake Geneva basin highlights the significant proportion of overflows that do not have a discharge monitoring system.
DEVELOP COORDINATED TRANSBOUNDARY ACTION TO REDUCE THE DISCHARGE OF MICROPOLLUTANTS FROM URBAN AND INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER
Micropollutants are substances which, even in very low concentrations, can have harmful effects on aquatic organisms and living organisms in general. Within the public sewer system, the main sources of micropollutants in wastewater are households, health care centers, crafts, industries, roadways and roadway outbuildings when connected.
Micropollutants in wastewater are not easily degradable and mostly pass through the treatment plant as they are or end up in the water via storm drains. They can also come from diffuse sources.
Exogenous and invasive flora and fauna
ESTABLISH A COMPREHENSIVE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY FOR EXOGENOUS AND UNDESIRABLE PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES
The number of non-native species colonizing aquatic environments is constantly increasing. These species are expanding at the expense of native biodiversity. The damage caused by invasive alien species is increasing.
Measures are needed to limit the spread of invasive and/or undesirable alien species, and even to eradicate them locally when this is reasonably feasible.
TO ENHANCE KNOWLEDGE AND PROMOTE THE EXCHANGE OF GOOD PRACTICES BETWEEN AGRICULTURAL ACTORS IN FAVOR OF AN AGRICULTURE THAT RESPECTS WATER QUALITY
Plant protection products used to protect crops in the Lake Geneva basin are likely to be found in water, sediments and fish, and to present a risk, even at low concentrations, for humans and the environment. Monitoring of the waters of Lake Geneva shows that many chemical substances are detectable in sometimes non-negligible quantities.
The actions undertaken by the stakeholders of the CIPEL, in particular to reduce the use of phytopharmaceutical products, to develop organic farming and agro-ecology and to ensure the implementation of the best available techniques, testify to the efforts made to limit the transfer of micropollutants from agriculture to the natural environment. These actions must be renewed, strengthened and optimized.
SHARE ACTIONS TO REDUCE THE PRESENCE OF DRUG RESIDUES IN THE AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT
Active pharmaceutical ingredients affect, among other things, the reproductive function of fish and amphibians, but also the behavior of animals. However, to date there are no reference values that would allow a concrete assessment of their impact. However, their presence in the environment is not desirable, especially in waters intended for drinking water supply, such as those of Lake Geneva. However, the presence and impact of active ingredients in water are not well known by the general public.
The CIPEL can play a role of sensitization of the various actors, and in particular with the public authorities and the population.
DISSEMINATE THE RESULTS OF MICROPOLLUTANT MONITORING AND RISK REDUCTION MEASURES
Numerous micropollutants (pesticides, drugs, cosmetics) have been measured in the waters of Lake Geneva, in sediments and in fish since the mid-2000s. This monitoring has shown that many chemical substances were detectable in sometimes non-negligible quantities and that they could represent a risk, particularly for ecosystems, but also for human health.
With its monitoring and study program, CIPEL has the potential to alert in this field. To play this role well, it must be equipped with a communication strategy that relies on effective and professional tools.
IMPLEMENT A FOLLOW-UP OF THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF THE FACILITIES ON THE LAKE ECOSYSTEM
In a desire to reduce the carbon footprint, the use of so-called "green" technologies is expanding rapidly and hydrothermal energy is one of them. Many projects of exploitation of the thermal potential of the lake have already seen or are in the process of seeing the light of day which are added to or replace the traditional thermal uses.
However, it is well known on a number of environmental issues that significant undesirable effects can result from the addition of a large number of projects with individually negligible effects. In the context of global warming, which will have the effect of modifying the thermal characteristics of Lake Geneva, this subject deserves even more attention.
Aquatic vegetation / Lake Geneva shoreline / Renaturation
TO ESTABLISH AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRESS OF THE RENATURATION OF THE LAKE AND RIVER BANKS AND TO ENCOURAGE RENATURATION
In the case of Lake Geneva, where the anthropization of the shoreline is particularly high (one of the highest of the large Alpine lakes), the restoration of its natural transitional environments is an essential long-term challenge, the importance of which will increase with the effects of climate change.
On the watercourses of the Lake Geneva basin, diagnoses of the current state exist and have made it possible to prioritize the actions to be undertaken. Thus, renaturation programs, including the restoration of fish migration, have been developed and actions have been undertaken for several years, but there are still many projects to be completed. These efforts will have to be continued and probably significantly increased to respond to the foreseeable effects of ongoing climate change.
Aquatic vegetation / Lake Geneva shoreline / Renaturation
CONTINUE TO COMMUNICATE ON THE STATE AND IMPORTANCE OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AT THE LEVEL OF LAKE GENEVA
The shores of Lake Geneva present a great residual natural wealth to be preserved and renatured. The landscapes of the lake and its shores make it a very popular vacation spot, but also a place very conducive to many human activities. In a context of strong urbanization pressure, preserving and restoring the environmental balance is a priority.
Consultation and information are necessary for a sustainable management and a better appropriation and preservation of these spaces by the communities, the inhabitants and the users.
ACTION PLAN 2021-2030
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