Who are we?
What is

PIREN-Seine is a research group whose aim is to develop an overall vision of the operation of the system comprising the Seine hydrographic network, its watershed and the human society which depends on it.
The ecological function of the river system as a whole and its modelling, from its bacteria through to its fish, are based on a detailed study of the ambient physical, chemical and biological processes.

The models developed by PIREN-Seine simulate the ecological and biochemical variations within the hydro-system, from the streams until it reaches the estuary.
Supported by UPMC and CNRS, it brings together teams from a number of universities, research centres, engineering schools and research bodies of the operators involved. Projects are executed with the majority of the public and private water management stakeholders in the Seine-Normandy basin.

A little history

In the mid-1980s, CNRS launched the first of the PIRENs – Programmes Interdisciplinaires de Recherche sur l’Environnement, or Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Programmes. Several PIREN projects focusing on major rivers subsequently emerged, including on the Rhône, Garonne, and the Plain of Alsace. In the Seine basin, where the technical and political chessboard in terms of water resource management is particularly complex and confrontational, it took until 1989 before Ghislain de Marsily succeeded in setting up the necessary dialogue between all of the institutional partners in the basin and the research organisations.

In a very pragmatic way, the research axes were set up from the very start by combining the skills of the immediately mobilisable scientific teams with the need expressed by the operators.