Identify new rules for sharing water in shortage situations for irrigators on the Crau plain - Tristan Guérin

Although the Crau plain has no natural hydrographic system, it benefits from surface water thanks to the irrigation canals that divert water from the Durance to supply its territory.

photo draaf paca web © Photo : DRAAF PACA, 2019


The Crau aquifer, which is mainly fed by infiltration from irrigation, is essential for maintaining a number of uses: drinking water supply, irrigation and economic activities. At present, the Crau aquifer is not in structural deficit, but it may be subject to shortages in certain periods. Moreover, the potential effects of climate change on the Durance watershed raise various questions about the future availability of water in the canals of the Plaine de Crau.



schema web © Crau-Sud Alpilles canal agreement, 2011



The thesis is part of the European GOVAQUA project, which aims to identify innovative approaches to water governance. In order to minimise the economic impact on the region in years of water shortages, it is important to think about sharing rules that maximise collective well-being, going beyond a simple proportional reduction in the quantities taken.

The thesis will comprise three stages:

  • the first, which is essential for understanding the context and the relationship between surface and groundwater, will provide an in-depth analysis of the governance of the area and its water flows.
  • Next, the thesis will seek to identify possible ways of sharing groundwater in times of shortage and to list possible solutions for balancing supply and demand in the area.
  • Finally, the thesis will identify, jointly with local stakeholders, new ways of sharing the resource during periods of drought, the associated water governance structure and the technical tools needed for their eventual implementation.


Key words: Water sharing; Water shortage; Irrigation; Quantitative management; Economic instruments; Crau aquifer

Additional Info

  • Contact:

    PhD Student: GUERIN Tristan
    Phone :
    E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Doctoral school: EDEG
    Thesis Directors: Marielle MONTGINOUL ; François MOLLE
    Start date: 01/01/2024
    Defense date: XX/XX/2027

  • Team(s) of Joint Research Unit concerned:


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