Within the EPIRB project, Human Dynamics, as Consortium leader, was tasked with improving water quality in the trans-boundary river basins of the wider Black Sea region and Belarus. EPIRB promoted the application of modern water management tools to ensure appropriate water quality through capacity building, in-work training, and harmonising water legislation with the EU WFD, other EU directives and integrated water resources management (IWRM) principles. This included a WFD-compliant water quality monitoring and assessment — as a framework and in practice.
The project reinforced current actions in environmental protection and water resources management, supported by previous EU-funded trans-boundary projects in the region, in terms of cooperation as well as convergence toward the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), by joint development of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) in selected pilot river basins of the wider Black Sea region.
This EU-funded multi-country project comprises Component A of the larger “Protection of freshwater and marine environments in the wider Black Sea region” initiative. Component B of this initiative is a separate project named “Environmental protection of the Black Sea”. Given that most of the trans-boundary rivers of the region discharge into the Black Sea, Component A (EPIRB) also indirectly targets Component B; thus, work involves ensuring close coordination between the two components. This includes work to reinforce regional partnership and collaboration with e.g. the UNECE Helsinki Water Convention, the International Convention for the Protection of the Danube River, or the EU project EMBLAS.
The two main project results delivered were: (1) increased capacity of the respective national authorities for hydro-biological, chemical and hydro-morphological monitoring of water quality including groundwater, and quality assurance procedures in place in laboratories; and (2) increased technical capacities by means of development and implementation of the RBMP for selected river basins/sub-river basins, according to the requirements of the WFD.
The key project deliverables will be the RBMPs developed in line with the WFD, but they should not be seen as products of the project, but rather products of the beneficiaries. [...] The plans are [meant to be] planning and implementation tools which galvanise investment and ultimately lead to improved water quality and environment.
One of the key project outputs is the development of a RBMP for the country’s main river basin, the Prut River. The plan will be updated every 6 years by the MoE and will contribute to the Moldovan Government’s priority goal of meeting EU requirements in relation to water protection.