Whereas water is one of the factors that determine human activities – including agriculture – and ensure ecosystems function properly, its use is already under considerable strain in some French regions. Several projections and foresight studies have therefore tried to take a closer look at what will happen to this essential natural element in the future. This paper compares three recent studies (Aqua 2030, Garonne 2050 and Explore 2070) to bring out the main factors that will influence this resource’s availability and usage, in particular in the agricultural sector. These exercises invariably conclude that tension will exacerbate going forward, forcing agriculture to adapt, under pressure from climate change as well as other water withdrawals. These studies, however, are also limited when it comes to specifying and quantifying these tensions.
The notes published in the CEP Analyses series are 4 to 8 pages evaluative or prospective briefs aimed at the general public. Based on research reports, studies, expert opinions or data analysis and statistics, they propose an overview of a topical issue and favor comparative approaches.