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The Rhone River Basin

The Rhone River Basin

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The Rhone River Basin

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  1. The Rhone River Basin Alex Houston February 23, 2012

  2. Location

  3. Basin Statistics

  4. 70% used for agriculture • 15% for domestic use • 15% for industry • Hydropower in the Alps • Cooling thermal and nuclear reactors in France • Recreational Activities • Navigation– from the Mediterranean Sea to Lyon Surface Water Uses

  5. Average annual discharge of Rhone into Lake Geneva = 180 m3/s • Less than 100 m3/s in winter • Greater than 600 m3/s during summer • Flood events produce flows greater than 1000 m3/s • Average annual discharge from Lake Geneva = 570 m3/s • Average annual discharge into Mediterranean = 2300 m3/s • Flood event produced a peak flow of 13000 m3/s • 7 billion m3 stored annually • About 80% located downstream of Geneva Surface Water Flow

  6. 59.5% in Switzerland • 50.5% in France • Largest lake in Western Europe • Only 3% of the lakeshores are still natural due to agriculture, industries, and urbanization Lake Geneva

  7. 1962- International Commission for the Protection of Lake Geneva (CIPEL) formed • Organize surveys to determine the nature, extent, and sources of pollution • Recommend measures to the Governments to deal with existing pollution and to prevent any future pollution • Provide ground information for international regulations relating to cleanness of the water of Lake Geneva • 1976- Joint Advisory Commission formed • The Parties agree that water and air pollution, as well as noise caused by navigation shall be prevented and penalized by the competent authorities of the Parties • 1987- Council of Lake Geneva formed • Facilitates cooperation between Parties in economical, social, ecological, and infrastructure aspects Lake Geneva Treaty

  8. Treaty signed in 1963 between the governments to build hydro-electric facility • Established a Standing Supervisory Commission • Commission supervises the construction and operation • Each country receives approximately 50% of the power produced Lake Emosson

  9. Supplies Lake Geneva with 789,000 m3/yr • Supplies the Rhone with 1.9x106 m3/yr • Main uses of the groundwater • 65% for domestic use • 25% for industry • 10% for agriculture • New agreement effective January 2008 • Joint commission deals with use, recharge, and monitoring • Determine financial modalities governing the use of the resource Genevese Aquifer

  10. Formed in 1972 • Protect shared waters against pollution • To consider all matters relating to pollution of shared waters or to any other degradation • To organize and carry out surveys to determine the source, nature, and extent of pollution, and make use of data obtained • To propose measures to the Parties to deal with existing pollution and to prevent any future pollution Mixed Commission for the Protection of Italian-Swiss Waters against Pollution

  11. Climate change • Overall annual precipitation predicted to decrease by 5-10% • Increase of 4 °C in winter and more than 6 °C in summer by 2100 • Increased hydropower production • Safety of hydropower • Economical attractiveness • Want to migrate towards environmentally friendly energy Future ISsues

  12. Is there anything we can learn from the Rhone River Basin and apply to other basins? • What do you think is behind the cooperation of the two countries? • Do you see anything in the future happening to break up the cooperation? Questions