Ukraine : monitoring water quality in the Bug, Latorica and Uzh rivers 1998 - 2001

The Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety entrusted the RODECO - IOWater - VERSEAU group with the development of a strategy for improving and protecting water quality in the transboundary basin of the Bug, Latorica and Uzh rivers, tributaries of the Vistula. This project, costing a total of 1.980 million Euros, was financed by the European Commission’s TACIS programme and involves the Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Slovakia.

According to the terms of the 1992 Helsinki Convention, the project aimed at enabling the standardisation of procedures in all riparian countries by:

• developing a control and follow-up strategy for water quality in the Western Bug basin,
• applying the European directives on water quality in this basin,
• defining and promoting analysis and technical control procedures in accordance with the terms of these directives,
• proposing possible changes in these directives according to the results obtained.

IOWater expertise was related in particular to:

• assessment of the sewerage system of the main towns, located in the river basins, together with an estimate of the proposed changes,
• identification of activities in terms of international water resources management,
• proposal for a hydraulic simulation model to be used in the river basins concerned,
development of a river basin information system to facilitate the collection and processing of water quality data, the development of a national information system in the Ukraine and the use of data exchange procedures between the Vistula riparian countries.

A computer expert was seconded by IOWater to Kiev in April 1999 for one year

An Access/MapInfo application was installed in three regional directorates of the Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology. This multilingual application (English and Ukrainian) has allowed queries and the updating of the collected data relative to:

- the administrative framework
- the bodies of water
- the monitoring stations
- water quantity (water levels, flow) and quality

The results obtained in the Bug basin were sufficiently conclusive to go further than the pilot experiment and start a redesign on a national scale. The Ministry thus initiated a reform of the legislative and institutional framework in force.

In 2001, the co-operation project, financed by the French Ministries for Foreign Affairs and of Ecology and Sustainable Development, dealt with the 4 following actions:

- transfer of legal and institutional know-how on integrated water resource management at the level of river basins, based on the European Framework Directive of 2000 and on the French Water Law,
- assistance with the drafting of a water law adapted to the Ukrainian and international context as this country has 4 large transboundary rivers: Dniepr, Dniestr, Western Bug and Donets,
- assistance with the creation of an executive body for the South Bug Commission, starting with the Environmental Fund, and preparation of the implementation in other basins, the Dniepr included,
- drafting of documents preparing this body and defining its assignments and means, especially economic and financial means with the aim of controlling pollution and conserving water resources.