It was out of question to concrete over this natural site near the town of Béziers ! Our engineering allowed to respect the environnement and to build a white water stadium adapted to all levels. The Orb river stays practicable during summer and welcomes tourists, school children and international races (World cup). Today, the course of Réals is used during low flows in summer and allows the organisation of international competitions.

The banks have been made into terracing and reinforces of a white water river perfectly adapted to the Languedoc landscape. Before transformation, the course could be used with a minimum flow of 25 m³/s whereas now, we can navigate with a flow of 8 m³/s.

Thanks to the studies a white water course for all users levels was realised by minimising the impact on the environment. At present, the Réals white water course can be used even when the river flow is very low, that is to say competitions can be organized even in summer.

For this project a discreet and efficient intervention was necessary to conserve this wonderful natural site. So, no concrete in these beautiful surroundigs near the City of Béziers.

For the transformation of the river into a white water course, rocks had to be taken out in the upstream part of the course. This difficult operation required a special equipment adapted for this kind of work. Then, rocks were put in place to concentrate the flow on the key-points of the river and finally, the river banks were re-modelled to obtain natural terraces. Before this transformation, the course of the Orb River could only be used with a minimum river flow of 25 m³/s whereas, at present, the necessary river flow is 8 m³/s.



Characteristics of the Réals white water course

Water supply By gravity
Flow rate 8 to 40 m³/s
Length 400 m
Width 10 to 25 m
Drop 5.6 m
Difficulty II to IV
  • Cost of the installation: 274,000 euros
  • Client: Conseil Général de l’Hérault
  • Work done by EDF: Studies of water streams for canoeing and kayaking, Summary pre-project studies, Tender file, Construction follow-up.
  • Opening date: June 1991
  • Main events: World Cup in 1991, National Selections for 16 and 17 year-old-kayakers, National Selections from 1993 to 2000.


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