Int. Roundtable on Transboundary Waters Management, 15-16.12.2011, Dimitris Faloutsos


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Assessment of Transboundary, Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters in South-Eastern Europe
International Roundtable on Protection and Sustainable Use of Trans-boundary Waters in Southeastern Europe, 15-16.12.2011, Zagreb, Croatia

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Int. Roundtable on Transboundary Waters Management, 15-16.12.2011, Dimitris Faloutsos

  1. 1. Petersberg Phase II / Athens Declaration Process Protection and Sustainable Use of Trans-boundary Waters in South East Europe Roundtable on Trans-boundary Water Management Assessment of Transboundary, Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters in South- South-Eastern Europe Dimitris Faloutsos Programme Coordinator for South Eastern Europe
  2. 2. -About 90 % of the area of SEE is within international basins-13 major transboundary rivers and 4 major transboundarylakes as well as more that 50 transboundary aquifers in SEE-More than half of the respective basins are shared by threeor more riparian states-Cooperation for effective shared water resourcesmanagement is of particular importance, so as to ensure theresources’ protection and sustainable use3/23
  4. 4. IWRM in shared basins Institutional and legaldepends largely on national frameworks in the SEEwater management countriesframeworks Revised or under an on- Basis for this reform process: the EU going revision process accession Process EU Water Framework Directive (WFD)Transposition of the • Voluntarily by some countries in the non-EUEU WFD in the legal : • Expected to have a positive effect on countries, hasframework of the the cooperation for the management of progressed at acountries transboundary water resources different pace • (Eventually / In principle) Harmonized depending on the legal framework evolving cooperation framework with the EU, prevailing socio- Overall, progress in lawmaking: considerable. economic situation Nevertheless, deficiencies in the area of implementation and administrative and enforcement. The reasons are manifold. capacities5/23
  5. 5. have partially been adopted in the countries that are not EU Member States (history of efforts at the level of strategic planning and legislation adoption providing a basic framework for management IWRM at at the basin level including provisions for integration - implementation and enforcement remain considerable challenges). the basin level: pursuant to the EU WFD in EU Members States – River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) are the main tools (their preparation is an issue in some countries) Management of the shared water bodies in the SEE: rather unilateral - level of cooperation varies, even among different basins shared by the same two countries Influenced by the developments at politicalTransboundary cooperation for the : and socio-economic scene at national andmanagement of the shared water bodies regional level and the bilateral relations of the riparian countries • There are many – in the majority of cases political Agreements and protocols obstacles and lack of resources have not allowed yet for and other types of treaties : proper implementation and significant results for TWRM • Nevertheless progress in several cases,6/23 indicating also political will, has been achieved
  6. 6. Joint commissions – examples: betweenCroatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1996 - Ohrid lake basinagreement), Croatia and Slovenia (1996 - Skadar/Shkoder lake basinagreement), Croatia and Hungary (1994 - Sava river basinagreement), Croatia and Montenegro(2007 agreement), the Serbian-RomanianJoint Commission under the 1955Agreement, and the Serbian-Hungarian Cooperation throughJoint Commission under the 1955 Joint BodiesAgreement. Prespa lakes basinIn most of the shared - low political prioritization of the issue,Basins and aquifers - financial constraints and in some casescooperation is - insufficient institutional capacityabsent - conflicting interests among countries may also be a reason among the Transboundary aquifers: low knowledge level reasons: adds to the difficulties of transboundary cooperation.
  8. 8. Monitoring capacity Ongoing reform in the waterof most of the -difficult conditions sector: opportunity to improvecountries affected of the recent past coordination amongby the: institutions involved in -non-integrated management monitoring and assessment of the water resources and lack of coordination among institutionsInformation received: not adequate for drawing an overall conclusion regardingthe status of monitoring of shared water bodies at the national andtransboundary levels - All countries have a certain level of monitoring of surface waters in place - It seems to be less information available about aquifers (compared to surface waters), in terms of quantity and especially in terms of quality - “Quality or quantity monitoring has to be improved or still needs to be established” - EU Member States: monitoring, assessment and reporting activities are mostly steered by the obligations of different water-related Directives. Level of implementation?9/23
  9. 9. In most transboundary basins: information exchange is still very weak andinformation produced in riparian countries is not harmonized.Joint monitoring and assessment almost do not exist.Nevertheless, there are exceptions to this rule:e.g. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia (Trebišnjica/Neretva left aquifer)- Hungary and Serbia (exchange of harmonized information on the basis ofrelevant agreements)- Serbia and Romania (monitoring of the Danube)- Efforts for a joint monitoring system in Prespa- Bulgaria and Turkey (Maritsa/Evros/Meric basin - telemetry hydrometricstations)Countries reported in many cases: “joint monitoring is needed” and relevantproposals were made
  11. 11. Consumptive uses that Agricultural irrigation (in the Aegean Sea basin-with rank first by the share of spatial variations) and drinking water supply (in the total volume of water used Black Sea basin, followed by industrial water supply, in the basins: agricultural irrigation - the order may vary on a case-by- case basis) -Water-use efficiency in the agricultural sector Major issues in -Water loss due to the degraded drinking some countries water supply networks -Groundwater over-abstraction Albania: hydropower contributes to over Major non-consumptive Water for 90 per cent of the energy production (Drin use in many countries: hydropower River basin : 70 per cent of the total production energy produced in the country) Bosnia and Herzegovina: it is an export commodity12/23
  12. 12. Agricultural activities (nitrogen, phosphorous and pesticides - pressure varies among basins - Sava, Mesta/Nestos, Maritsa/Evros/Meric, Neretva and Trebišnjica, Prespa, Somes/Szamos alluvial fan etc.) Inappropriate sanitation – insufficiently treated and/or untreated wastewater and/or improper use of septic tanks (mainly in rural areas) as well as illegal wastewater discharges (Sava, Maritsa/ Evros/Meric, Timok, Struma/Strymonas, Mesta/Nestos, Nisava and Pollution Neretva and in the Iron Gate reservoirs - Stara Plannina/Salasha Montana, Tara, South-Western Backa/Dunav and the North-East Backa/ Danube-Tisza Interfluve etc.) Insufficiently treated and/or untreated industrial wastewaters (including illegal discharges): in many cases pollution by organic compounds, heavy metals and other hazardous substances Illegal waste disposal/uncontrolled dumpsites (Sava, Nisava, Neretva, Struma/Strymonas, Mesta/Nestos, Drin River basins and Skadar/Shkoder Lake) Intensive periodically increase the liquid and solid waste generation and the tourism water demands (Neretva River, Lakes Ohrid, Skadar/Shkoder and activities Prespa) - illegal construction linked with tourism is of concern (e.g. in the Drin basin)13/23
  13. 13. Almost no information was Climate change impacts: provided by the countries Their special characteristics are an additional factor of Karst aquifer complexity when it comes to transboundary water resources systems management ( Neretva, Trebišnjica, Trebižat, Prespa and Ohrid basins) Extent and limits of karst systems, drainage patterns and flow paths are little known General lack of understanding of their vulnerability to anthropogenic as well as climatic stresses increases the level of difficulty of managing them as well as threatens their value and long-term sustainability Great number of dams and associated reservoirs in shared basins (for one or more of the following: hydropower generation, irrigation, drinking and industrial water supply, flood protection and recreation) Dams Many dams in Sava, Neretva and Trebišnjica, Drin, + Maritsa/Evros/Meric River basin (722), Iron Gates (Danube) water surface water and in many cases: regulation in groundwater hydrological and structures (e.g. combination abstractions morphological flood protection with (agricultural, alterations with systems) municipal and different impacts14/23 industrial use)
  14. 14. RESPONSES15/23
  15. 15. - All countries, at different paces, are making steps Basin towards their development management - EU countries: preparation of RBMPs (EU WFD). plans - Non EU Member States: Croatia, FYR Macedonia - Sava Commission to address issues linked with Countries reported either thatGood agriculture (e.g. the overuse such measures are neededagricultural of water, nutrient and or that they have beenpractices pesticide pollution) implemented. Information on the results is not availableWastewater collection - In EU Member States: in Significant level ofand treatment systems accordance to the respective financial resourcesand solid waste Directives needed:management systems - Efforts are also being made a major challenge forand facilities in non-EU countries the countries
  16. 16. THE WAY FORWARD18/23
  17. 17. Action for IWRM at national level: creates the conditions for efficient management at the transboundary level Ongoing reforms of the water sector can benefit cooperation between the countries in this respect: At the same time, international cooperation could speed up national reforms Eventual transposition of the The UNECE Water Convention has an EU WFD across SEE would additional special role to play in SEE: it lead to harmonization of offers a basis for enhanced cooperation legal instruments for the and a common platform for EU and non- management of water EU countries. Also a useful tool for resources assisting the implementation of EU water legislation by non-EU countries19/23
  18. 18. Cooperation create the basis -building of trust between riparians for establishing -design of in monitoring and a common solutions on the assessment: may understanding basis of provide an initiating of water issues commonly agreed point for and their root objectives cooperation causes Water Convention’s guidelines and strategies for monitoring Possible entry and assessment points for enhanced Joint fact-finding Prioritization of issues at the cooperation: exercises and analysis national and transboundary of the charact. of the levels; an agreed timeline basins (natural values, for further progress may uses, pressures etc.) follow Issues of common concern, such as transboundary flood management, also provide such opportunities20/23
  19. 19. Donor countries (Germany, Sweden, Switzerland etc.), EU, United Nations agencies, Initiatives (e.g. Petersberg Phase II/Athens Declaration Process) may play an important role inFacilitatingcooperation GEF: financially supported enhancement of cooperation (Ohrid and Skadar/Shkoder, Prespa Lakes and Neretva River, Dinaric Arc Aquifer System) which in cases resulted in the conclusion of official bilateral cooperation arrangements21/23
  20. 20. Planning of new infrastructure and operation of the available should take into account the upstream- Dams: downstream needs and considerations, including possible negative impacts on the ecosystem services and economic activities as well as the evolving climatic conditions Floods: Use of better operation techniques and rules regarding the available dam infrastructure Joint development and establishment of integrated information systems such as flood forecasting/early warning systems The effects of related development plans that involve alternative uses for waters and water Tourism: bodies on lakes-rivers-wetlands-groundwater systems need to be clearly understood before any decision is taken23/23
  21. 21. Coordination of international actors, to create Actions to Upgrading the synergies and avoid duplication or secure country role of the unnecessary effort, should be a goal ownership joint bodies Translating scientific data into Minimization or Collaboration, information – assisting with elimination of compromise and decision-making and upstream - consensus-building increasing public awareness downstream process necessary pressures for coordinative / Development plans at the national level should cooperative depends balance the need for development with the on open dialogue, need for sustainable natural resources use and good will and trust environmental protection among the key stakeholders22/23
  22. 22.