The five lakes of Verdon; Lake Castillon, Lake Chaudanne, Lake Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, Lake Quinson and Lake Esparon Verdon. All artificial, erected in the twentieth century for the production of electricity and different human needs.
Lake Castillon; With an area of 500 hectares, it stretches for almost 8 kilometers. Work began in 1924 and ended in 1948. This is the first dam encountered on the course of the Verdon. It includes a small area reserved for the army where they say sonar tests are done for submarines … If its main vocations are the production of electricity and irrigation of the agricultural sector, it also attracts many tourists who enjoy its beaches and nautical bases of Saint-Julien du Verdon and Saint André les Alpes.
Lake Chaudanne; Built between 1950 and 1953 and located just downstream from Lake Castillon, it is wilder than the other lakes that line the course of the Verdon, with difficult access to water because of its steep edges. Even if swimming is prohibited there, it is the ideal place to spend a “relaxing” afternoon when you stay in Castellane. it has an area of 70 hectares, for a volume of water of 16 million cubic meters. The objective of this dam, in addition to the electricity production by EDF, is to control the variations in water flow at the entrance of the gorges starting from Castellane. Electricity production is done in the fully automated plant and scheduled each evening for the next day. It is therefore this dam that regulates the water level on the “classic” course.
Lake Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon; The second artificial lake of France with an area of 2200 hectares over 12 km long and two kilometers wide. The work began in 1970. The 767 million cubic meters it contains are primarily used for energy production, it is also the supply of drinking water to major cities on the coast such as Aix-en-Provence and Marseille . The Canadairs particularly like it to recharge water when forest fires are raging in the area. On these banks are present many campsites that attract thousands of tourists every summer of all nationalities, it is the main tourist basin of the Verdon. The establishment of this water body necessitated the loss of a large fertile valley and the displacement of a large population. The village of Salles-sur-Verdon was drowned and rebuilt along the lake.