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Dam Removal Expert

Jean-Luc Carpentier

Introducing the dam removal expert:
I am in charge of carrying out studies and work on aquatic environments within the expertise department of the Artois Picardy Agency.  I’m working for a water basin Agency in the North of France, “Agence de l’Eau Artois – Picardie”. This Agency, like the 5 other Agencies in France, grants funds to owner masteries to lead projects on rivers restoration, including dam removal or amenagement.  

More than 2.100 dams had been initially recorded in the Artois – Picardie basin ( 20 000    km²), but due to field campaigns, the number of recorded dams is still increasing nowadays. Since 2009, many projects have been led technically and financially helped by the Agency to restore rivers continuity in our basin, either through fish ladders , bypass arms,  dam removals. If the projects mainly focused on rivers where migratory fishes were recorded, (especially on the coastal rivers of the basin ) ;  because in these classified rivers, there is an european obligation to obtain ecological continuity  ,  however others projects have been led on the whole basin.  

The Artois – Picardie Water Agency has also led part of the works as a direct project ownering , as the law enabled it since 2010 and it is  the only one  in France to do it  Most of the projects I am working on in substitution of the dams owners consist in  the  removal of thoses dams. I am a practitionner, mostly on the field and we are working in team with my colleague, Stéphane JOURDAN, on these dam removals.  

Can you mention some of the most interesting dam removals you have carried out? 

What is your main expertise?
I carry out – directly or outsourced – comparative studies of the various existing technical solutions, I handle negotiations with all project stakeholders – local politicians as well as local citizens –  I draw up the application files for administrative authorisations for these works, I solicit European financial aid, I write calls for offers and selects the works companies, I ensure the project management of the works, participating in all the site meetings from the installation of the base of rest of the workers until the reception of the works, and obtaining the notice of compliance of this work by the public environmental institutions concerned. 

 What is the most proud moment in your career regarding removing dams and why?
The greatest satisfaction is when a deletion or development project is concluded with its owner and the work carried out is functional as planned.  

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