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THE RHONE RIVER BASIN Alex Houston February 23, 2012

The Rhone River Basin

Feb 23, 2016




The Rhone River Basin. Alex Houston February 23, 2012. Location. Basin Statistics. 70% used for agriculture 15% for domestic use 15% for industry Hydropower in the Alps Cooling thermal and nuclear reactors in France Recreational Activities - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
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Page 1: The Rhone River Basin

THE RHONE RIVER BASINAlex HoustonFebruary 23, 2012

Page 2: The Rhone River Basin


Page 3: The Rhone River Basin


CountryArea in the

country (km2)

Country’s share (%) Population

Population density


France 90,000 92 14.8 million 156Switzerland 7,739 8 1.2 million 159

Italy 50 -- -- --Total 98,000 16 million

Page 4: The Rhone River Basin

SURFACE WATER USES• 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

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SURFACE WATER FLOW• 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

Page 6: The Rhone River Basin

LAKE GENEVA• 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

Page 7: The Rhone River Basin

LAKE GENEVA TREATY• 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

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LAKE EMOSSON• 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

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GENEVESE AQUIFER• 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

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• 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

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FUTURE ISSUES• 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

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• 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?