1.A. The problem

1.A.               The problem

The project was selected in July 2013, as a postdoctoral fellowship. A budget of €20 000 was granted. The eligible amount was of € 40 000 (with an estimate of € 20 000 of in-kind contribution from the Australian partners).

This application is related to a project called “Mines, Environment and Societies”. It originates from the geographical LOTERR Laboratory, EA 1135, headed by Mr. Michel DESHAIES.

Objective of the mission as stated in the grant file:


« The Kimberley and the Canning Basin each cover 450 000 km2. Their intersection is the downstream watershed of the 733-km-long Fitzroy River; which covers a surface of 93,829 km2. They are currently two of the last wilderness regions of Australia, as important for the ecology of the planet as the Amazon is. However, more than 500 licenses have so far been granted for the exploration of shale gas and for coal and precious metals as well. Those exploration licenses can quickly become operating licenses.

Our aim is to assess the water needs and to compare those needs with the water resources which are actually available, within a sustainable development framework (scientific, ecological, socio-cultural and political) inspired by the European experience, especially the Bassin Rhin-Meuse Agency and the Australian approach developed in collaboration with the Brisbane Water Centre. This will lead to the drawing up of a civic and environmental strategy of prevention and scientific control.

The purpose of this technical and scientific assessment is to better understand and integrate the environmental, social and political factors ».

This postdoctoral project builds on a doctoral thesis presented on December 13, 2008 at the University of Lorraine / Nancy2 under the direction of Mr. Jean- Pierre Husson. The territorial experience enlightened by the thoughts of A.N.Whitehead: Potentiality of user-friendly areas and application to the region ‘Between the Vosges and the Ardennes.’ It can be downloaded at the following address :



The continuity between the thesis and the post-doctoral dissertation is the implementation of the organic (Whiteheadian) methodology in regards to participatory planning related to water.