Since the dawn of time, the history of the Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park has been written along water: it is the source of its abundant biodiversity! However, climate change and human activity are generating extreme events: increasingly intense and early droughts, water shortages, or on the contrary floods. The Park is therefore acting to raise awareness around this vital issue, and to put in place appropriate solutions. So, come on board, we'll take you sailing through our waterways and their challenges!


As their name suggests, these bodies of groundwater are contained in the groundwater of the territory. They make the Montagne de Reims a real water tower which supplies everything in the surrounding area, from residents' taps to farmers' watering systems. If more than 65% of water collected is intended for domestic use, this consumption tends to decrease, unlike agricultural uses, which are increasing.

There are several types of tablecloths: alluvial (associated with a watercourse), perched (upper water table at the level of the course in a watershed) or even captive (containing water under pressure at depth). Let's take advantage of this to zoom in on the five different layers that cross our territory !

The alluvial layer of the Marne

Known under the code name FRHG004, this body of water is associated with the Marne. It supplies many municipalities in the region, including Châlons-en-Champagne and Épernay. If its level is rather good, its chemical state is unfortunately poor. In question: the presence of inputs…

The Eocene of the Ourcq watershed and the Lutetian-Ypresian of the Soissonnais-Laonnois

The Eocene of the Ourcq watershed (code FRHG105) includes a perched body of water, located on the upper parts of the Montagne Reims. For its part, the Lutetian-Ypresian layer of Soissonnais-Laonnois (code FRHG106) is located deeper. Both are very little exploited, because they are less voluminous, even if their level is good. The inputs they contain have a poor impact on their chemical state.

The Chalk of Champagne North and the Chalk of Champagne South and Center

With a thickness of more than 400 meters, these sheets of water cover almost the entire Marne department, nestled on average at a depth of 8 meters in the plain. Although having a colossal volume, their quantity of water remains worrying, in particular for the South and Center Champagne Chalk (code FRHG208).

Preserve this groundwater

The good condition of these bodies of water requires above all a reasoned management of their withdrawals, but also by facilitating the transfer of surface water to the groundwater. For this, the dewatering of soils and restoration of wetlands must be a priority! Thus, each drop of water must be assimilated by our soils, and not directed towards waterways (excluding risks linked to landslides), via rainwater and drainage networks. These solutions make it possible to recharge the water tables and limit the danger of flooding.

Surface water

After our exploration of the basements, we return to the surface here! The territory of the Park is included in two watersheds: that of the Marne in the south, and that of the Vesle in the north. Let's take a closer look at this!

The Vesle watershed

The Montagne de Reims feeds the Vesle through six of its tributaries: the Ardre, the Brandeuille, the Noron, the Puisieulx, the Rouillat and the Iselles. The ecological state of these watercourses is generally average: at times, many of them have been diverted (i.e. equipped with pipes) or rectified (in other words, some of their meanders have been eliminated ). Their chemical state is rather poor, due to the inputs found there. Their restoration is therefore essential!

The Marne watershed

The observation remains similar for this watershed, fed into the Montagne de Reims by four tributaries: the Germaine, the Livre, the Belval and the Trépail. Only the Marne is in good ecological condition thanks to its meanders and some alluvial forests. Its banks are also the refuge of remarkable birds, such as the Bank Swallow!

Ensure good management of these waters

The management of these watercourses is ensured by three river unions, who have part of the competence GEMAPI (Management of aquatic environments and flood prevention): the SIABAVES for Vesle, the Syndicat Mixte de la Marne Moyenne and the Syndicat Mixte Marne et Surmelin for Marne.

Thanks to its in-depth knowledge of its territory, the Park provides support to these structures. His goal ? Preserve and rehabilitate wetlands, but also ensure the proper management of waterways and their restoration.

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