BRGM contributes to the dialogue between science and society. To this end, it organises meetings in the regions, to provide opportunities for outreach and discussion. A meeting in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region was held on 8 November 2018 in Marseille.

As a public institution for research and expert studies, BRGM contributes to the dialogue between science and society in its different fields. 

Establishing a dialogue with civil society representatives in the French regions 

BRGM's regional representatives organise meetings with representatives of civil society groups to discuss regional environmental questions relating to BRGM's areas of expertise and on which papers and articles have been published. 

These meetings provide opportunities for open and constructive discussions. They stimulate exchanges of knowledge - or of knowledge "gaps” - questions from all parties and the expression of their expectations, while observing the ethical principles that guarantee transparency and trust and preserve the independent judgement of all concerned.

Summary of the meeting held in Marseille on 8 November 2018 

Topic on the agenda 

Groundwater in the PACA region: a little-known and fragile resource that needs to be protected. 

Date and venue 

Thursday, 8 November 2018 at the PACA Regional Economic, Social and Environmental Council. 


  • Presentation of BRGM (key roles and how it operates) 
  • Talk on Groundwater in the PACA region: a little-known and fragile resource that needs to be protected. 
  • Discussion 


15 advisors from the various groups: 

  • Group No. 1: representatives of businesses and self-employed professionals 
  • Group n°2: representatives of employee trade union organisations 
  • Group No. 3: representatives of organisations and associations involved in the life of the regional community (federations, chambers, mutual fund administrators, regional committees and associations) 
  • Group n°4: 5 qualified personalities designated by the Prefect of the PACA Region whose role or activities contribute to the development of the region 

Specific points, participants' expectations and questions, discussions 

What is the connection with urban planning? Can BRGM be called on? 

The aim is to intensify efforts to inform planners. For that purpose, a guide for planners on "Groundwater and urban planning" is being finalized through the SOURSE (Strategy for Rational and Sustainable Use of Water Resources), which complements the SDAGE and the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for coastal waters. It is essential that this issue is taken in hand by planners, particularly those in charge of urban planning. BRGM is available to act as a facilitator and to provide its knowledge on the issue. 

Concerning BRGM and its missions. Are BRGM studies made available to others? What are BRGM's resources for carrying out its missions? What is it working on? Which specific initiatives have been undertaken to raise awareness of groundwater issues? 

BRGM makes its data available through the InfoTerre website. 

BRGM studies in the regions are mainly co-financed by local authorities, whose budget allocations are decreasing. BRGM's core activities have expanded into topic areas that relate to the Earth sciences in order to respond to requests for studies. 

Publications such as the "Groundwater and urban planning" guide for planners, mentioned above, or the synthesis of knowledge on groundwater masses, contribute to the dissemination of knowledge. BRGM's involvement in events for the general public, such as the Fête de la Science, is also important to bring relevant messages to a wider audience.