European Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership countries (EUWIplus East)
The objective of the project is to improve the management of water resources, in particular of trans-boundary rivers in the Eastern Partnership countries of the European Union.
The expected results of the programme are:
• Result 1: Legal and regulatory framework improved in line with the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), Integrated Water Resources Management and Multilateral Environmental Agreements.
• Result 2: River Basins Management Plans designed and implemented in line with the EU WFD principles.
• Result 3: Lessons learnt regularly collected, shared and communicated to stakeholders.
The project aims at supporting the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) in improving the management of water resources, specifically transboundary rivers, in line with the EU Water Framework Directive (EU WFD) and Multilateral Environmental Agreements.
-- Immediate beneficiaries: Up to 200 officials and water experts in the 6 Eastern partnership countries will participate in the respective foreseen capacity development measures and trainings.
-- Direct beneficiaries: Up to 1.000 officials, scientists and water experts in the 6 Eastern partnership countries will benefit from the improved legislation, procured monitoring and laboratory equipment, comprehensive rules and electronic tools for data management and reporting, economic analysis and improved river basin management plans
-- Indirect beneficiaries: Up to 75 Million people are expected to benefit from improved water resources planning and management in 6 Eastern partnership countries.
1. Analysis of the current situation of the institutional and legal setup including the identification of gaps and proposed actions in the light of key elements and requirements of the relevant Directives and existing studies in the EaP region
2. Analysis of the current situation considering all elements of the DPSIR cycle and the principles of IWRM and identification of gaps in the light of key elements and requirements of the relevant Directives and existing studies in the EaP region
3. Delineation of river basin districts and water bodies (= management units) in line with the WFD and tailored to the regional situation.
4. Identification and assessment of significant water management issues, the relevant driving forces and pressures on the water resources, their receptors (e.g. water dependent ecosystems) and uses which might be affected in terms of quality and quantity, as a starting point for focused and cost effective implementation activities.
5. Based on the identified relevant and significant pressures, design, setup, regular review and adaptation of surface water (rivers, lakes and in case transitional and coastal waters) monitoring for physical, chemical, biological and hydromorphological quality elements and groundwater monitoring for chemical and quantitative indicators shall be designed
6. Procurement of monitoring/laboratory equipment corresponding to the specific needs identified for each of the six beneficiary countries.
7. Preparation of River Basin Management Plans (based on existing pilot RBMPs) summarising all elements listed in the WFD including the programme of measures tackling the significant pressures causing risk or the failing of good status objectives of the WFD.
8. Promotion of and contribution to public participation and stakeholder involvement in the whole implementation process to achieving high commitment in the implementation of the RBMPs.
The Austrian Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW) is the competent authority responsible for the national implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Austria, supported by its affiliated Environment Agency Austria (Umweltbundesamt GmbH). In addition to the national implementation of the Water Framework Directive and its related Daughter Directives, both institutions are substantially involved in related activities on EU level (leading role in Common Implementation Strategy Working Group Floods and Groundwater, regular participation in other CIS working groups and Supporting Service Contracts for the European Commission in the field of the Water Framework Directive and Floods Directive as well as Water Industry Directives). On the international level, Austria is actively participating and supporting many international activities fostering transboundary river basin management in bilateral and multilateral River Basin Commissions such as the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), the Rhine River (ICPR) or the Elbe (IKSE).
The BMLFUW's proposed strategy and methodology for the implementation of the EUWI+ East very closely follow cornerstones and implementation steps of the WFD and related daughter Directives as well as IWRM principles. Moreover, existing guidance documents and technical reports elaborated under the WFD Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) will be considered. Individual examples for references of international assignments linked to the implementation of the WFD and related water acquis communautaire are highlighted in italic.