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General presentation
First phase Loire nature
Loire nature plan
Thematic actions
River dynamics
Water resources
Study (scientific monitoring)
Management (environmental
restoration and management)

The programme > Objectives > Water resources


For thousands of years, rivers carried large amounts of sediment, consisting of sand and gravel, upstream and downstream. In this alluvial layer (several tens of metres thick), there was another river circulating, underground and invisible to our eyes : the alluvial groundwater. It plays a major role in the supply of drinking water, irrigation and industrial development. Before reaching this layer, water flows through ground beneath natural meadows, alluvial forests or farmland. It has been observed that crops tend to have a distinctly negative effect on water quality, but meadows and alluvial forests have a high capacity for filtering the flow of pollutants. They therefore help to purify groundwater and reduce the concentration of nitrates, phosphates, etc. They act as a kind of natural purification plant, which costs local authorities nothing and provides us with high-quality water. We can therefore understand how the development of modern farming techniques is the main threat leading to deterioration in the quality of groundwater and compromising the future of our water resources. It is essential to maintain wooded or grassed areas and introduce adequate measures for farmers to use them. This is why Loire nature works to restore wetlands through extensive pasturing management methods to support traditional agriculture while offering an alternative to projects of agricultural intensification.

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