Improvements to the River

Like all rivers, maintenance of the banks and removal of silt is a major necessity and although the Seine is a fairly 'well behaved' ecosystem some changes have been deemed necessary in order to maintain, and even improve, it's navigational advantages and to minimise the risks of flooding.

Dams and storage tanks, most notably in the Yonne Basin (the Yonne River is a tributary of the Seine) have been used to raise the water level locally; and three major reservoirs have been constructed, not only help to minimise flood risks and provide water storage, but also to generate hydro-electric power. These are Lac des Mille Lacs, Lower Marmion and Upper Marmion lakes. Other water storage facilities include the Marne Reservoir (which is claimed to be the largest man-made lake in Western Europe); Raft Lake and the Aube Reservoir which is a fairly recent innovation, which was created between 1981 and 1988.

Nature conservation is a major concern at all these sites, since they have become havens for fish and wild birds. This means that control of pollution and algae are ongoing necessities.