In September, Armenia and Georgia are working together to monitor the Debed/Debeda river, with the support of the EU4Environment Water and Data programme. This cooperation involves every step of water monitoring, including field sampling, lab analysis, and interpreting data.
How It Works
Both countries follow EU Water Framework Directive methods for sampling and analysis. Experts from Environment Agency Austria are sharing their experience of EU monitoring approaches with Armenian and Georgian experts.
They measure various parameters in the river, including water temperature, oxygen levels, salinity, acidity, nutrients, and the organisms living in the water. All these factors indicate water quality.
Armenian and Georgian experts analyze the samples in their own labs. Due to slight differences in equipment and methods, their values may vary slightly. However, the focus is on making sure these values are very close for the same set of parameters. This requires very smooth communication from both sides all along the monitoring process.
Why Water Monitoring Matters
Water quality and ecological monitoring assesses the health of rivers, lakes, coasts, and groundwater. It involves regular analysis of water quality through field sampling, lab work, and data interpretation. This helps detect pollutants from agriculture, urban wastewater, and industries, as well as documenting the effects of man-made changes and improvements to hydrology and morphology on the aquatic ecosystems. Based on the results of such a monitoring, measures to lessen the impact on the environment can be formulated and implemented.
The Importance of Cooperation
Transboundary water monitoring complements national efforts because many water bodies cross multiple countries. Collaboration between experts from both sides of the border is crucial. It ensures they agree on monitoring results, making it easier to implement solutions and share costs and responsibilities.
Pictures: EU4Environment Water and Data