Drac (river)

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Esrf grenoble.jpg
Confluence of the Drac with the Isère in Grenoble
Origin Massif des Écrins
Mouth Isère
45°12′55″N 5°40′31″E / 45.21528°N 5.67528°E / 45.21528; 5.67528 (Isère-Drac)Coordinates: 45°12′55″N 5°40′31″E / 45.21528°N 5.67528°E / 45.21528; 5.67528 (Isère-Drac)
Basin countries France
Length 130 km (81 mi)
Avg. discharge 97 m3/s (3,400 cu ft/s)
Basin area 3,550 km2 (1,370 sq mi)

The Drac is a 130 km long river in southeastern France, left tributary of the Isère. It is formed by the confluence of the Drac Noir and the Drac Blanc, that both rise in the southern part of the Massif des Écrins. It flows through several reservoirs, including the Lac de Monteynard-Avignonet. It flows into the Isère near Grenoble. Its major tributary is the Romanche.

The Drac flows through the following départements and towns:

The average flow of the Drac at Fontaine is 97 m3/s (3,400 cu ft/s), with the highest monthly flows occurring in June. The catchment has an area of 3,550 km2 (1,370 sq mi), with average rainfall of 859 mm.[1]

The name of Drac, originally the Drau, is due to an attraction by the occitan drac "imp", of Latin dracō "Dragon". It is documented in the forms Dracum (v. 1100), Dravus (1289), the ribière dou Drau (1545). The word "Drac" means Dragon. In many legends the drac Occitan is a genius of evil waters, and even a form of Satan, that attracts children to drown. Frédéric Mistral wrote in Félibrige Treasury:[2]

In December 1995, six children and their teacher were drawn into the river after the level of water rose due to the opening of the valves of the dam. They were there to see beavers, but died.[3]


  1. ^ Drac at Fontaine
  2. ^ "Dragons - Entre sciences et fictions" (in French). www.lahic.cnrs.f. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  3. ^ "Drame du Drac notre enquête" (in French). hebdo.nouvelobs.com. 21 December 1995. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 

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