Environmental justice and sustainable groundwater protection - Solène Le Pape

Nature-based solutions (NBS) play an important role in the sustainable management of groundwater and the natural production of high-quality water. Beyond their technical effectiveness, however, the ability of NBS to ensure equity and justice rather than generating negative effects and creating or exacerbating existing inequalities is perhaps challenged.

photo apieme web © Photo : site APIEME, Impluvium Evian Les Bains


This PhD thesis, led by BRGM and funded by the BIO-JUST international research project (BIODIVERSA+), aims to develop a framework for analyzing groundwater protection programs based on NBS in relation to the three dimensions of environmental justice (procedural, distributive and recognition).


The work will be organized into three main questions:

  • What level of relevance should be given to the dimension of procedural justice, which is linked to stakeholders’ involvement in the design and implementation of the programs?;
  • What are the environmental inequalities relative to the effects of programs? What are the preferences for a fair distribution of protection program effects?;
  • What are the relationships between programs’ efficiency, associated with resource allocation choices, and effectiveness?


photo borisov web © Photo : Ivan Borisov, La Palma - Cumbre Vieja


Thanks to the partnerships with Danone and the University of La Laguna, the PhD thesis will focus on the cases of the Evian impluvium and the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands archipelago. To carry out this work, a combination of concepts, approaches and methods from environmental and natural resource economics, sustainability economics and sociology will be mobilized.

The PhD thesis will contribute to improving the way in which the three dimensions of environmental justice are addressed in the design and evaluation of groundwater protection programs.


Key words: Environmental justice, groundwater, economics, preferences, participation

Additional Info

  • Contact:

    PhD Student: LE PAPE Solène
    Phone : 07 83 93 31 40
    E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Doctoral school: EDEG Montpellier
    Thesis Director: Stefano Farolfi (CIRAD G-EAU)
    Supervisors: Cécile Hérivaux (BRGM G-EAU), Laura Seguin (BRGM G-EAU), Philippe Le Coent (BRGM G-EAU)
    Start date: 01/02/2024
    Defense date: XX/XX/2027

  • Team(s) of Joint Research Unit concerned:

    PRECOS - Pratiques, REprésentations sociales et COmportementS au sein des socio-hydrosystèmes

    et IPD - Ingénierie de la Participation et de la Décision

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