Romania’s first Drainage Basin Management Plan finalized by year-end

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The „Romanian Waters” National Administration (ANAR) will complete by the end of 2009 the first National Management Plan that synthesizes the Management Plans for all drainage basins in Romania, reads a release of the institution reporting to the Ministry of the Environment.

Thus, the final version of the document approved under Government Resolution will be referred by March 2010 to the European Commission.

Drainage basin management plans represent the qualitative component in the management of water resources and is the main instrument for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, mainly aimed at achieving a good qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies until 2015, which is the deadline for the first cycle of the Plan.

A preliminary analysis of water bodies showed that of 2,356 permanent bodies of standing fresh water, 43 percent are currently classified as being „at risk” or „potentially at risk” of not achieving the environmental objectives; 57 percent, especially those located in mountain areas, are unspoiled by major anthropogenic influences, being in very good and good condition.

Four categories of major problems were identified in the early stages of implementation of the Management Plan: water quality degradation; eutrophication (algal bloom); the reduction of flora and fauna biodiversity; and coastal erosion of the Romanian Black Sea shore.

Currently, according to ANAR, the quality of the Romanian coastal water has improved due to the reduction after 1990 of economic activities in the Central and East European countries of the Danube Basin and to the modernization of the water cleaning plants in localities and industrial units in Germany, Austria and Romania; however, the benchmark status placed back in 1950 was not yet attained.

At the same time, coastal erosion affects about 127 km (57 percent of the Romanian coastline length); it is mainly caused by the reduction of the quantity of silt carried by the Danube and the fall in the amount of biogenous sand, a consequence of shrinking populations of mollusks due to increased pollution of coastal waters.

The structure of a drainage basin management plan provides the context for the establishment of a comprehensive action plan, under consideration of the environmental objectives for water bodies.

Until November 10, 2009 the program of measures is subject to debate with the public and with interested stakeholders, so that it be duly completed by the end of the year. All measures will become operational until the end of 2012 at the latest.

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