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The Corsica basin

282,000 inhabitants

With an average of 32 inhabitants/km², Corsica has the lowest population density of any the French metropolitan regions. It is visited by 2.5 million tourists every year.

8,700 km²

Almost 1,000 km of shoreline

Factors linked to its island nature

  • High average annual rainfall of 900 mm (< 700 mm on the coast, > 1000 mm in the mountains), or 8 billion m3 of water.
  • Dense hydrographic network composed of 3,000 km of short water courses (80 km maximum)
  • Wide variations in rainfall between the autumn rains and the summer periods 22,000 ha of wetlands (1% of the territory)

Significant challenges facing the basin

Water resource management

Corsica has abundant resources, but they are unevenly distributed. Certain regions like the Cap Corse, the Balagne, the South East and the rural communities in the interior still have supply problems.

Water is diverted for two purposes: agricultural irrigation (53%) and drinking water (47%). 80% of these requirements come from surface water and 20% from underground supplies. Whilst meeting vital human needs, the diversions significantly impact on aquatic environments.

In order to satisfy the island’s current and future requirements without damaging water quality, it is important to gain a better understanding of the water resources, to ensure a quantitative equilibrium by anticipating requirements and to raise awareness among all users of the need for more rational management.


In general, pollution of the aquatic environments remains limited in Corsica. However, the stakes are even higher because of the exceptional water quality and the role it plays in the economic development of the island.

It is therefore important to build on the efforts already made to improve the efficiency of the purification systems and to reduce pollution whether of agricultural origin, related to waste problems or from dangerous substances.

ECOPASS - ISO 14001 - ISO 9001

Agence de l'eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse • 2-4 allée de Lodz • 69363 Lyon Cedex 07
tél : 04 72 71 26 00 • fax : 04 72 71 26 01