CLÉMENT
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1.1.1926 Lyon/F - 23.1.2002 Aix-en-Provence/F
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René Clément entered Ecole Polytechnique in 1946 and graduated in 1950 from Ecole d'Application du Génie Rural. He then joined the departmental Service of rural engineering at Digne, in the French Alps. During all his life he stayed in this region of France and was particularly related to the design and the execution of Canal de Provence. That latter scheme was designed in the 1950s by Société du Canal de Provence SCP, then executed from 1961 to 1975 and actually serving mainly for irrigation purposes in Southern France. Water is thereby diverted from Durance River in the Northwest of Var Department and then distributed over a large area with 120 km long canal structures in a region bordered by the cities of Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Toulon and Saint Maxim, thereby totaling an irrigation surface of some 80,000 hectares and a total investment of 1.9 milliards of Euros. Special hydraulic structures include tunnels and bridges.
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Clément was strongly involved in the development of these works and may thus be considered a pioneer of modern irrigation canal design. To complete these works both numerical and experimental approaches were employed and a novel scheme for cost distribution was applied between the various clients. Clément also investigated means to remove silt from the canals by using a cleaning sphere. Once the works were completed, Clément was appointed general director of the Company for the following fourteen years. Accordingly, Clément not only contributed to the technical design and execution but also added considerably to SCP as a manager and administrator. In parallel, he was involved in activities relating to the development and surveillance of large dams for irrigation purposes, both in France and internationally. He was awarded Officer of the Mérite Agricole, and Cavalier of Légion d'Honneur. Clément's name will be related to Canal de Provence, and to engineering advances in irrigation engineering, therefore.
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Anonymous (2002). René Clément et le Canal de Provence. Société du Canal de Provence: Aixen-Provence. P
Clément, R. (1966). Calcul des débits dans les réseaux d'irrigation fonctionnant "à la demande". La Houille Blanche 21(5): 553-575.
Clément, R. (1976). La Société du Canal de Provence et l'aménagement de la région provençale. Travaux (501): 48-51.
Clément, R., Galand, A. (1979). Irrigation par aspersion et réseaux collectifs de distribution sous pression. Eyrolles: Paris.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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