Drin

Enabling Trans-boundary Cooperation and Integrated Water Resources Management in the Extended Drin River Basin
Project Information
Duration: 
2015 - 2020
Region(s): 
Lake Skadar, Montenegro by Sarah Tz

The Drin project aims to advance transboundary water governance through the conjunctive management of surface and groundwater in the Central European Drin river basin. This will be done through the implementation of a program of on‐the ground pilot demonstrations. UNESCO-IHP is executing a pilot project aimed at designing and testing a modern multi-parameter groundwater monitoring network and related data sharing protocols in the Buna/Bojana Delta transboundary alluvial aquifer (Albania and Montenegro).

The objective of the Drin project is to promote joint management of the shared water resources of the transboundary Drin River Basin, including coordination mechanisms among the various sub‐basin joint commissions and committees. Albania, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro are the project beneficiaries.

The GEF Drin project is structured around five components:

  1. Consolidating a common knowledge base
  2. Building the foundation for multi‐country cooperation
  3. Institutional strengthening for Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM)
  4. Demonstration of technologies and practices for IWRM and ecosystem management
  5. Stakeholder Involvement, Gender Mainstreaming and Communication Strategies

The project is implemented by UNDP and executed by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) through GWP‐Mediterranean (GWP‐Med) in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE); GWP‐Med is responsible for the realization of the Project. The Drin Core Group is the Steering Committee (SC) of the Project.

Project objectives

The GEF supported Drin project aims to advance transboundary water governance through the conjunctive management of surface and groundwater in the Central European Drin river basin as a means to improve water security and sustainability of freshwater ecosystem services, balance competing water uses, and mitigate the expected impacts of climate variability and change. The envisaged Outcome 5 of the project is to demonstrate benefits on the ground by environmentally sound approaches and technologies new to the region. The achievement of this outcome will be pursued through the implementation of a program of on‐the ground pilot demonstrations.

UNESCO-IHP’s role in this project

UNESCO-IHP is executing a pilot project focused on the lake Skadar/Shkoder and Buna/Bojana Delta transboundary alluvial aquifer situated shared by Albania and Montenegro with the aim to design and pilot test a modern multi‐purpose transboundary groundwater monitoring network and related proposal of the program of monitoring of groundwater for data collection, in line with relevant EU legislation, as well as protocols for data sharing. UNESCO-IHP is providing technical assistance to GWP-MED and the overall Drin Core Group through implementation of the pilot project.

This pilot project intends to provide multiple benefits to allow the countries to:

  1. accrue direct experience on approaches, technologies, practices and organizational settings novel to the region and test their cost effectiveness and feasibility in the regional context;
  2. test cooperative arrangements; and 
  3. feed into the joint SAP (Strategic Action Plan) formulation process.

The pilot project will provide the competent authorities of Albania and Montenegro with the tools ‐ in the form of modern equipment and protocols for the operation and maintenance of the networks, consistent with requirements of the relevant EU legislation (WFD and GWD) ‐ to implement (wherever deemed necessary and decided by the National Authorities) a systematic monitoring of groundwater resources state (quantity and quality) in the project focus area. The pilot project will provide a proposal for a transboundary groundwater monitoring programme for the focus area in line with requirements of the provisions of the EU Water framework directive. Proposal of the program of monitoring the groundwater will represent a program of activities to be carried out, parameters to be measured for data collection with defined methodologies and relevant quality standards for monitoring the groundwater, in line with requirements of the mentioned EU legislation.

The project has the following components:

  1. Generating the knowledge base based on existing information and data.
  2. Design of the monitoring network and defining the data exchange protocols.
  3. Field Testing.
  4. Capacity Building and Dissemination.