On 28-29 Sept 2015, the EU-funded HD-led project Environmental Protection of International River Basins (EPIRB) launched the first in Moldova modern network for groundwater monitoring.
The project helped purchase and install modern groundwater monitoring equipment on 15 wells in the Prut pilot river basin, including electronic water level, temperature and conductivity meters; and one telemetric station for automatic transfer of field measurements to the to the databases of the State Hydrogeological Expedition (EhGeoM) – the institution responsible for national-level groundwater monitoring. This fully automated solar-powered equipment is first of its type in Moldova.
The final installation of the equipment, its linking to the existing telemetry system, as well as training of the local specialists took place on 29 Sept 2015 in locality Calinesti, Falesti.
The new equipment will assist the Moldovan Ministry of Environment, Agency of Geology and Mineral Resources, and Hydrogeology Expedition to determine the impact factors on groundwater quality of the Prut River basin.
Following groundwater field surveys in Moldova conducted by the HD-led EPIRB project in 2013-2014, high levels of groundwater salinity were detected in the main production aquifers in the pilot Prut river basin. In this context, the deployment of the modern network of 15 electronic groundwater monitoring devices across the Prut basin in Moldova specifically allows to find out whether this increase in salinity is caused by groundwater abstraction or related to natural hydro-chemical conditions of the aquifers.
At the hand-over ceremony in Chisinau, 28 Sept 2015, Mr Valeriu Munteanu, Minister of Environment of Moldova, thanked Mr Pirkka Tapiola, Head of EU Delegation in Moldova, for the new equipment, saying this made it possible to improve access to and quality of ecological, chemical and morphological data in the transnational river basin, including its groundwater bodies, as absolutely necessary for modern and WFD-compliant river basin management. Mr Munteanu stressed that the equipment would help boost Moldova’s fulfillment of obligations to international treaties.
In Aug-Sept 2015, EPIRB implemented monitoring equipment upgrading work in Moldova, Georgia and Armenia — as part of River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) development process through selected PoM — in order to:
The intervention will allow to understand and control salinity in the main production aquifers in the Prut River basin.
The intervention will allow automatic data transfer and monitoring of the II Artesian Aquifer in the Araratyan Artesian Basin (AAB) to help address groundwater depletion and counteract the intensive and irrational use of AAB water.
The intervention will allow better hydrological monitoring, flood risk assessment and flood forecasting by the Hydrometeorology Department of NEA.
EPIRB project activities and outcomes are designed to improve the quality of water in selected transboundary river basins through joint water monitoring activities and the development of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) in selected pilot river basins. The project focuses on the wider Black Sea region and aims to support the beneficiary countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.