What is that a low-water mark ?
The low-water mark corresponds to the moment when the river, the stream reaches its period of low water; this period varies according to the stream, in winter or in summer. But today, this natural phenomenon is stressed by the periods of drought which afflict our territory.
And Charente ?
Like numerous other streams in France, the Charente is touched by this phenomenon. Indeed, on the river the Charente, this period generally begins in early June and lasts till the end of October.
The management of the quantity of available water is essential and necessary during this period because the resource in water of the river Charente, in dry years, has to allow for the satisfaction of all the socioeconomic uses of the water of the watershed: tourism, shellfish farming, agriculture, drinking water but also to preserve some water in the streams of the watershed for the aquatic life.
Since the 1970s, the "natural" situation has been deteriorated by takings, gradually more and more important on the resource in superficial and subterranean water, made by various users.
In the 1980s, to improve this situation, measures of management of the water resources were organized throughout The Charente, within the framework of the Protocol of management of waters, to share this resource. Indeed, agriculture, shellfish farming, drinking water or the industry were and still are important and simultaneous sources of consumption or use of the water between the June and October.
Other activities, such as river tourism, leisure activities or fishing are also users of our resources in water.
In the 1990s, another measure was taken concerning the quantitative management of the water resources: the Plan of management of low-water marks (PGE). The objective of this measure was to allow the uses of the water as well as the good functioning of the aquatic ecosystems in periods of low-water marks. This measure more particularly applies to all the streams where strong takings are observed, in summer.
The EPTB Charente closely follows the implementation of this measure to preserve the resources in waters available in the watershed but also to protect the natural heritage of the territory.