The notion of river basin management, by focusing on a spatial unit (the river basin), goes beyond the usual sectoral management of water. The use of the river basin as a territorial management unit lies at the heart of the EU Water Framework Directive. The level of decentralisation provided by river basin management makes it possible to deal with local water challenges that may be tackled less effectively by a central state administration. By taking into account the needs of different water users as well as 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.
Most of the territory of Georgia is covered by planning documents at the River Basin District level: Chorokhi RBMP, flood risk plan for the Rioni River, and Alazani-Iori and Khrami-Debeda RBMPs recently produced (2021). The adoption of existing RBMPs is still pending as the new Water Law of Georgia has not been adopted yet. There is a will to continue producing RBMPs for other River Basin Districts, notably for the Enguri and Rioni basins.
The programme supports the necessary delineation work of Enguri and Rioni River Basin districts, and promotes the development of a sustainable basin council to guide the implementation of RBMPs in the river basins.