Water resources management
National strategies and policies
In November and December 2022, Ukraine and Armenia adopted important strategic and planning documents with the aim to improve their water resources management.
On 9 December 2022, Ukraine adopted a new Water Strategy and its associated operational plan for implementation that were approved by the Government. Over the last years, various support by the European Union has informed strategy development including the indicators for the monitoring framework.
Following the adoption of a package of amendments to its Water Code earlier in July, on 3 November 2022 Armenia adopted its Water Sector Adaptation Plan and its Programme of Measures for 2022-2026. Water is one of the six most vulnerable sectors to climate change in Armenia according to the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) developed under the UNDP Green Climate Fund. The Water Sector Adaptation Plan is part of the National Adaptation Plan process. Aimed at policy makers, its purpose is to help the Armenian government achieve its adaptation objectives for the water sector through the identification of specific and prioritised measures needed to build climate resilience in the water sector.
On 8 December 2022, Armenia adopted both Sevan and Hrazdan River Basin Management Plans, developed within the EU Water Initiative + project. The level of decentralisation provided by river basin management makes it possible to deal with local water challenges. By taking into account the balance between the economy (uses) and ecosystems (protection), management at the river basin level provides for equal access to water and the sustainability of water resources in the long-term. Armenia has prepared management plans for almost all of its 6 river basin districts: Ararat, Southern, Akhuryan (officially adopted in 2016 and 2017), Sevan and Hrazdan. The EU4Environment Water and Data programme supports the development of a river basin management plan for the Northern River basin district.
On 6 December 2022, Georgia hosted the 9th meeting of the National Policy Dialogue on Water, with support of the EU4Environment Water and Data programme. Georgia is undertaking a major reform of its water sector to comply with the European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements. In this regard, the Draft Law on Water Resources is a key element to pursue reforms in the water sector and ensure sustainable and qualitative water resources for all.
River Basin management
A one-day training on the preparation of the Programme of Measures of the Dnipro River Basin Management Plan was held on 29 November in Kyiv. The measures aim to improve the status of the water bodies as well as rebuild water utilities destroyed by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The event gathered 36 participants physically.The first draft of the Programme of Measures will be available during the summer of 2023. The complete draft of the Dnipro River Basin Management Plan will be submitted for consultation during the first half of 2024.
A regional training on laboratory analysis of water quality (following the international norm ISO 28540) took place on 21-24 November in Tbilisi Georgia, at the laboratory premises of the National Environment Agency. Participants from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine participated were trained on the determination of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in water, using gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS).
A groundwater field survey was organised mid November in Georgia. The data collected will be help develop the River Basin management plan for the Enguri Rioni river basin districts.
The third meeting of the working group on water monitoring and information exchange of the Commission on Sustainable Use and Protection of the Dniester basin took place in Chisinau, Moldova on 7-8 December, with support of the EU4Environment Water and Data programme. Moldova and Ukraine presented information collected during joint water surveys on the quantity and quality of surface and groundwater. Participants shared the lessons learnt and discussed the possibilities to improve this joint monitoring process in the future. The working group approved its work plan for 2023-2024.
The Republic of Moldova and Romania are resuming cooperation on the Prut and Danube rivers. After a long break, the intergovernmental commission for the implementation of the Agreement on cooperation for the protection and sustainable use of the Prut and Danube waters held its 2nd regular session from 2-3 November 2022. The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Moldova with the support of EU4Environment Water and Data.
Water for Health
Ukraine submitted its summary report within the fifth reporting cycle (November 2021-April 2022) under the UN Protocol on Water and Health with support of the EU4Environment Water and Data programme. Read the summary report here.
Eastern Partner Countries participated to the 6th Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health that took place on 17 November 2022.
A workshop on Copernicus land monitoring products took place on 30 November in Armenia. The CORINE Land Cover (CLC) inventory was initiated in 1985 (reference year 1990) to standardize data collection on land in Europe to support environmental policy development. CLC is produced by the majority of countries by visual interpretation of high resolution satellite imagery. In a few countries semi-automatic solutions are applied, using national in-situ data, satellite image processing, GIS integration and generalisation. CLC has a wide variety of applications, underpinning various Community policies in the domains of environment, but also agriculture, transport, spatial planning etc.
On 6 December 2022, EU4Environment Water and Data organized a side event at the UN Groundwater Summit: "Future of groundwater monitoring & foresight concepts in support of SDG 6." EU DG Near and Armenia gave a presentation focusing on EU Water Initiative + and EU4Environment Water and Data.
On 28 November, EU4Environment Water and Data organized a workshop at the International River Symposium in Vienna. The workshop focused on river governance in Eastern partner countries. Experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine discussed challenges and solutions with experts from the OECD, UNECE, International Office for Water (France) and the Environment Agency Austria.
EU4Environment Water and Data is looking for a consultant to support local authorities in the organisation of the future Water Supply and Sanitation services in the Nirnova river basin in Moldova. Deadline is 06 January 2023. More information