- Georgian landscape © OIEau
Water use grew more than twice as fast as the population over the last century. There is enough freshwater on the planet for everyone, but too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed.
Action plans to tackle climate change impacts need to be integrated across different sectors and coordinated across borders.
Thanks to the European Union’s Water Initiative Plus (EUWI+) project, the 6 Eastern Partnership countries will be able to meet quite ambitious water policy objectives, including a greater level of water security for people, and create new opportunities for economic development and progress towards a green economy.
Strengthening strategic and basin-level planning to protect water resources
Within the EUWI+ project, the 6 Eastern Partnership countries are improving their water policy frameworks for water management, considering the implementation of best international practices (Sustainable Development Goals, Protocol on Water and Health, transboundary cooperation), including those of the European Union Water Framework Directive.
At the end of the EUWI+ project, 8 pilot river basins will have developed their first river basin management plans. By planning the use of water at basin level in a coordinated manner, representatives of stakeholders from different economic sectors agree on best practices and make sure that everyone plays their role to save and protect water in the context of climate change.
This strategic planning will for example enable the 6 Eastern Partnership countries to be prepared to mitigate drought and flood impacts and take specific measures to protect ecosystem services, e.g. protection of carbon sinks such as wetlands that absorb almost half of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions.
Building capacities for water managers
All Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) have recently updated or completely renovated their water laboratories, and expanded and renovated their water monitoring network with the support of the EUWI+ project. By the end of 2020, experts and trained personnel across the region will have access to state-of-the art analytical equipment to monitor chemical and biological parameters for water quality close to European standards.
As a result, their national data will feed into European level data collection and help provide decision-makers with the accurate information they need.
Everyone has a role to play
Water management is a collective task. If we really want to make a difference, then we all need to play our part. We can all can participate by increasing our awareness of water challenges, adapting our behaviour to save water resources from pollution and scarcity, and reducing our water footprint.
With the support of the EUWI+ project, 8 pilot river basins in the Eastern Partnership countries are supporting River Basins Organisations, carrying out awareness-raising campaigns and conducting public consultations to take opinions into account in their final river basin management plans.