The “Along the River” program comprises research and innovation projects focussing on the integrated management of water, its uses and its governance, and involves close cooperation between CRESICA members, local authorities and the economic sphere. The program is funded by the 2017-2021 State-Joint Local Authority Development Contract.
Water, at the intersection of a range of challenges, is the program’s key common thread. The topic of water effectively opens a channel for structuring research with cross-sectoral and inter-institutional scope which meets the needs of New Caledonia and its local authorities, for all of whom water management is a major concern. In scientific terms, water issues are linked to CRESICA’s 3 main pillars: development of natural capital, health, and resource and space governance.
The program is based on several strategic approaches which bring together local authorities, the economic sphere and research stakeholders:
- the NC 2025 Land Use & Development Plan (SAD) involving expansion of the higher education - research and innovation continuum;
- the Assises de l’Eau (Water Sessions) held in 2008 by the Economic and Social Council;
- the Territorial Innovation Strategy (STI) which includes, among its 4 main areas of specialisation, conservation and management of the environment and natural resources from the central mountain range to the reef;
- the strategic framework on Energy-Climate one of the key aims of which is the identification and implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.
Furthermore, the Law of 22 July 2013 establishes policies focussing on sites of higher education, research and innovation, aimed at more effectively mobilising research into issues affecting New Caledonia.
The key aim of the “Along the River” program is to support public policies on the integrated management of water and its uses. Furthermore, the program is designed to consolidate the policy for academic centres as regards higher education, research and innovation (ESRI), in New Caledonia and within a context of globalisation.
The “Along the River” program combines several objectives specific to water issues, including:
- taking stock of existing water management knowledge, based on a scientific analysis of priority issues in terms of hydrology, leveraging skills, data provided by scientists and data supplied by local authority departments;
- gathering scientific knowledge on water through cross-sectional projects;
- hydro system characterisation projects (quality, quantity, operation, impact monitoring);
- projects aimed at giving such knowledge a wider perspective in terms of social issues, uses and types of governance and oversight by factoring in a forward view on human impact and climate change as a help in decision making;
- research project on water governance, to provide support in defining a water policy, in developing the rulebook within a context of water-environment-agriculture-health cross-disciplinary competences, in customary land-related water management, in setting standards (controlled flow, wastewater, etc.), and in seeking solutions tailored to public policy funding .
The “Along the River” program comprises two components:
- The continuum of the Massif to Recipient Systems project (from the mine to the lagoon) which includes 6 projects (ASSURPHUHYT, PEMPOM, TREMOR, Nickel-Chrome, MECAFLOC and SEARSE);
- The Water Governance within Customary Lands project (GOUTTE).
For more detailed information about the projects.