Provence
Français / English

Lake Serre-Ponçon

A huge artificial lake

Lac de Serre-PonçonThe lake Serre Poncon is an artificial lake created by the establishment of a dam on the Durance, 2 km downstream from its confluence with the Ubaye.

With 1.2 billion m3 of water and an area of 28.2 km2, is the second largest water reservoir in Europe (the first being the Lac du Der-Chantecoq). It stretches over 19 km in the Durance valley, and 9 km in the Ubaye valley.

The development work of Lake Serre Poncon began in 1955 with Jean de Mailly for architect, assisted by Jean Prouvé, and pooling water restraint took place from November 1959 and end in May 1961. About 1500 people have been displaced and their villages - Savines, Ubaye, Rousset - flooded.

Pont de SavinesThe village of Savines was rebuilt and the new Savines-le-lac was inaugurated in 1962. It should be noted that 7 centuries of its existence, Savines was moved 3 times! The first name of the village was abandoned during the Revolution because of the ravages of the torrent of Réallon, and the second was therefore destroyed on May 3, 1961 for the purposes of construction of the restraint Serre Poncon. It was located on the left bank of the Durance at a place called "La Charrière." It dated back 1825 years. Today, the bridge Savines, with a total length of 924 m, overlooks the old village of 40 m.

Lac de Serre-PonçonThe dam embankment is 650 m wide at its base. The peak high of 124 m, is off 9.35 m long and 630 m. We can estimate its volume by 14 000 000 m3. It is designed to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale. The catchment area of the lake is 3 600 km2 and the maximum capacity of the retainer 1272 km3. The maximum altitude of the lake is 780 m but can descend to 722 m at the low water level.
Starting from restraint, a canal built deflects most of the river water to the pond Berre. This "channel" of the Durance follows the natural bed of the river and allows agricultural irrigation.

Un lac apprécié des touristesNote that L'Eau vive (1958), a fictional film sponsored by EDF and written by Jean Giono (music by Guy Béart), is proceeding with the construction of the dam Serre Poncon backdrop.

Today, the lake Serre Poncon delight all tourists boating enthusiasts. Sailboats, catamarans, motor boats, sailboards, everything is available to brighten your holiday! You enjoy the pleasures of swimming or you initierez to kite surf in a space preserved, in the middle of mountains already fleurent a little Provence !

Around lake Serre-Ponçon

Barcelonnette - Jausiers - Le Parc du Mercantour - La vallée de l'Ubaye - Vallée du Haut Verdon - Other cities in Provence