Occitanie Water Key Challenge (WOc)

Lead institution

University of Montpellier


ICIREWARD Unesco Water Centre; GIS Eau Toulouse and Federal University of Toulouse

Financed by

The Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region



Occitanie region is a hotspot of global change and is subject to its consequences, which have a strong impact on the environment, biodiversity, and human societies (climate change, multiple forms of pollution, overexploitation of resources, land artificialisation, etc.). These developments require us to change our uses, particularly of water resources. Water management faces a major challenge: to develop the capacity to adapt to water excesses (floods) as well as to water shortages (droughts). To deal with these increasingly frequent extremes, the reuse of water is an interesting option to study to optimise use and save the resource.

Objectives and roadmap

Through the “Key Challenges”, the Occitanie Region supports and creates research sectors in strategic areas in the context of global change.

The regional collaboration between research teams aims to bring together scientific and technical skills and resources around shared objectives, in order to develop knowledge and techniques for adaptation in response to change.

Priority themes have been identified and are supported by the region through the “Key Challenges” initiative. In all, 15 Key Challenges are in action in 2022, with the aim of structuring the region’s research on the responses to the consequences of global change, and of promoting research in Occitanie Region internationally.

million euros over 4 years
0 M
structuring research projects
emerging research projects
Living Labs in the Occitanie Region

The Occitanie Water Key Challenge (WOc)

The Occitanie Water Key Challenge (WOc) focuses on the study of local adaptation solutions based on water reuse. It promotes research in the field of water reuse to study innovative solutions and their impacts.

It focuses research on all water uses that occur after a use or an artificial flow that had a different user and/or purpose.

At the beginning of 2022, a first call for projects allowed the selection of 4 “structuring” projects financed to the amount of 225 000€ + half a thesis grant per project, and two “emerging” projects to the amount of 30 000€.

A second call for projects will take place in 2023. In this perspective, a workshop on the integration of water uses and reuses in the great cycle will take place on 6 October 2022 in Toulouse, allowing researchers from the region to meet and exchange on this topic. More information on the Occitanie Water Key Challenge website.

In addition, and in connection with the structuring projects, the challenge is setting up Living Labs (experimental areas) to co-construct research with local stakeholders in order to find ways of adapting to water management collectively.

Six territories have been identified and each has a steering committee, half of which is made up of researchers and stakeholders from the territory, to bring up the needs around water issues and translate them into research questions (more informations).

Key Challenge WOc is structured around 4 axes allowing the evaluation of the efficiency and relevance of these solutions from their implementation territory to the political, economic and hydrological territories:

  • Strengthening data measurement and analysis capacities
  • Characterise local solutions and their implementation conditions
  • Analyse their insertion in their local environment
  • Evaluate their integration at the scale of catchment areas from source to mouth.

More details on : https://woc.edu.umontpellier.fr