Russia: The volga: pilot basin for training and institutional reforms 1999 - 2001

From 1999 to the end of 2001 IOWater was involved in two projects financed out of the European Commission's TACIS programme in this region:

Strengthening of training capacities in the environment sector in the Volga river basin. Associated with the Danish consulting firm COWI, IOWater in partnership with SODETEG enabled Russian trainers to learn about the management of water resources and water supply utilities in France. They met people from many institutions dealing with this sector (Water Agencies, development companies, private water suppliers...) during a study tour undertaken in December 1999.

• The ENVRUS9801 project, entitled Advice to the Ministry of Natural Resources on Water Management in Russia started in February 2000. It aimed at meeting the long-term requirements of the Russian Federation for establishing an efficient and well-functioning river basin management system, based on objective-oriented planning procedures, sound legal and regulatory procedures and on information-based decision making.

Gathered in a consortium, BCEOM, project leader, VERSeau and IOWater completed the project activities over a two-year period.

The component related to the "Implementation of River Basin Management at pilot Scale Level" with activities related to the enhancement of the present information management system(s) was coordinated by IOWater.

The final report of this component presented :

- A macro analysis of the legislative, institutional and organizational existing situation related to data management, with in particular, an analysis of the main information flows relative to the first main topics to be taken into consideration in the BVU information system ;

- Recommendations for the organization of the River Basin Organization's access to the data necessary for producing the information expected at the basin level.

Then, according to the project terms of reference, and with the objective to facilitate "sustainable water uses in the Russian river basins ", a first preliminary tool was developed for the OKA basin that includes the city of Moscow.

The approach adopted in this OKA River Basin Information System prototype named OKARBIS v01, consisted in giving possibilities of information management to the new river basin agencies, combining data and information, coming from various sources, in an adequate Database/GIS structure, with the objective to produce the output necessary for fulfilling its various functions.

Example: with the objective of producing specific information useful for integrated river basin management, some maps were produced with the 2TP data (user/polluter declaration of withdrawal and discharge) made available for testing by the Russian Water Cadastre.