Eastern Partnership and Association Agreement countries face many challenges when transposing, adjusting and adopting the environmental acquis, among them, the crucial ones concerning water sector directives (water package), including the Water Framework Directive in particular.
The Water Framework Directive, introducing integrated water resource management and river basin management, is being considered as one of the most substantial and ambitious piece of European environmental legislation. The directive overall goal is to get Europe’s waters cleaner while get the citizens involved via integrated and holistic water management approach, drawing on the guidelines based targets and mutually endorsed peer-comparative standards and measurement methodology or inter-calibration formulas (rather than one fit all, over-imposed institutional settings).
Ready to kick-off project financed by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum objectives are to identify challenges and opportunities in local water governance and management, conflicts and overlaps of competencies between institutions responsible for water management and local authorities, financial deficits, feasible formulas of cooperation among waters users, role of CSOs and local communities and to strengthen competencies, practical skills and engagement of local stakeholders involved in water management. Project envisages sharing EU & Eastern Partnership know-how and best practices enabling local stakeholders to effectively and tangibly address water sector directives implementation, focusing on three areas of the issue: water resources inventory, water monitoring standards, open and public access to water data as basis for proper water management (i.a. free or cheap inventory applications, free maps usage, information unification, automatic access and exchange of information), sustainable water resources management as a next step: distribution of competences among different stakeholders, financial deficits and costs division (who pays for what), collective planning & strategy drawing (i.a. developing formulas of water tenancy and tenants’ responsibilities, flood prevention strategies), formulas of cooperation and CSOs role (Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) and Local Action Groups (LAGs), River Basin Councils, public consultations).
Project idea elaborated by the Development Policy Foundation in cooperation with EcoContact (Moldova), International charitable organization ‘Environment-People-Law’ (Ukraine), Foundation Caucasus Environment (Georgia), Ecohome (Belarus) and Azerbaijan Ornithological Society (Azerbaijan).
Featured photo by Elena Dyatlova.