Water Management

Sustainable Use of Transboundary Water Resources and Water Security Management (WATER SUM)

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the REC continued to implement the WATER SUM project, funded by the Government of Sweden, with the main aim of reinforcing efficient national water resources management and promoting greater regional cooperation on water. Project activities were implemented principally in Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, while other countries across the region were invited to participate in targeted and relevant regional activities.

Capacity building related to water demand management, water resources protection, adaptation to climate change (floods and water scarcity and drought management), as well as the socio-political aspects of integrated water resources management were taken into consideration through the Water Resources Management Good Practices and Knowledge Transfer (Water POrT) component of WATER SUM. The Water Security (WaSe) component developed and approved local security action plans and supported eight pilot projects in municipalities in Jordan and Tunisia.

To raise awareness of water-related challenges, a drawing competition for students in Jordan and Tunisia was launched in August 2016. The WATER SUM project also organised an event and interview sessions at the Stockholm World Water Week. The MENA World Café 2016 was attended by more than 60 representatives of central and local governments, regional bodies, NGOs, academia and businesses from the MENA region..

Environmental Protection of International River Basins (EPIRB)

The REC supported Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in their efforts to improve the availability and ecological status of selected transboundary rivers, and to prepare and implement river basin management plans. In this process, the REC led the public awareness and public involvement activities, developed e-learning videos on water monitoring/sampling, and produced a variety of awareness raising publications.

Inventory, Outlook and Assessment of Emerging Environmental Crimes against Water in Europe (WATER CRIMES)

Co-funded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union, the REC worked with five partners to develop the first strategic analysis of crimes against water resources in Europe. Experts from the REC in the fields of water management and law development, enforcement and compliance attended the first European Workshop on Water Crimes to present the preliminary findings of research on water-related crimes in Hungary. In addition to this research, the REC led the work package on dissemination, communication and knowledge transfer activities.

Building Local Community Resilience for the Sustainable Development of Watersheds in South Eastern Europe (CRESSIDA)

The project helps to improve local authorities' performance in terms of compliance with the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and assists local populations to contribute to sustainability through their daily activities.

Activities in 2016 included identifying project beneficiary communities for a local and regional network, developing municipal environmental assessments for the municipalities of Gjakova, Rahoveci and Istog, and building capacities to address environmental issues. A joint pilot project was implemented at the regional level for the municipalities of Gjakova and Istog in Kosovo*, and the municipalities of Kukes, Peshkopi and Shkodra in Albania, aimed at directly improving water quality and water management.

A regional workshop for implementing local sustainable development plans in the Drini–Drina River Watershed region was organised by REC Kosovo*, and the event “Mojkovac BioBlitz” was organised by REC Montenegro, both with the support of the USA Environmental Protection Agency team.

Assessment of the Combined Impacts of Hydropower on the Ecosystems and the Ecological Status of Rivers (ANCHOR)

REC Bulgaria launched the ANCHOR project in partnership with the river basin authorities in Bulgaria. The project has developed a methodology and criteria for the classification of river sections according to their admissibility for the construction of hydropower plants (HPPs), applying the common approach to sustainable hydropower, as defined by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River. The Norwegian Water Research Institute (NIVA) supported the REC in the analysis of best practices from EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and in the transfer of knowledge. Project results have been tested in two pilot river basins in Bulgaria, while a preliminary assessment of HPP eligibility has been carried out for the whole country and integrated into river basin management plans.


* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
Water Management
In the framework of the newly launched ANCHOR project, pilot river basins in Bulgaria have been assessed for their suitability for hydropower plants.