Research Chair : Environmental Capital and the Sustainable Management of Rivers
Rivers perform multiple functions, involve multiple jurisdictions and actors and convey multiple meanings. Not surprisingly therefore, they are often highly contested spaces, where environmental, economic, cultural, ethical and political issues are combined to produce complex problems. Rivers that feature hydroelectric installations constitute a class of issues and problems, giving rise to particular challenges for management and decision-making. With these considerations in mind, the research unit Geolab, the SHEM, and the Foundation of the University of Limoges have initiated a five-year research program titled Environmental Capital and the Sustainable Management of Rivers. Based at Géolab, a multidisciplinary research unit located at the University of Limoges and the University of Clermont-Ferrand (France), the program is focused on two initial sites of research and field studies; the basins of the Dordogne River in central France, and the Têt River in the eastern Pyrenean region.
The program has two main objectives :
- To contribute to the development of novel tools and approaches for managing rivers characterized by hydroelectric developments.
- To contribute to the critical investigation of key concepts underlying river management with the aim of improving the practicality and effectiveness of these concepts.
The research is carried out in a series of studies led by doctoral and postdoctoral researchers associated with the Chair. Results of the research will disseminated primarily through a series of workshops organized by the Chair and by the publication of scholarly articles in French and international journals.
Current Projects of the Chair :
- Ecosystem services and the management of rivers.
- A critical study of the ecological continuity of rivers concept.
- Dams and memory: promoting better flood-risk awareness.
- The cultural dimensions of rivers as an aide to better management.
- Water democracy project (in preparation).
Research Forum (trilingual blog) :
Au fil de l’eau (Blog) :
– Book review of Bort-les-Orgues, Les Mots sous le Lac : Récits et témoignages d’avant le barrage (Trans. Bort-les-Orgues, Words from beneath the lake: Narratives and testimonials from before the dam.) by Armelle Faure (Review in English, by Jamie Linton).
Web portal on data about water quality in France :