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Water quality improvement measures within cross-border Lielupe river basin management

Project „Water quality improvement measures within cross-border Lielupe river basin management”

supported by a grant from Norway through the Norwegian Finansial Mechanism

Agreement number: 8-29/LV0017/07

Lithuania and Latvia are rich with freshwater resources, but both of the countries are facing problems related to sustainable water use. Water quality conditions are assessed and protected on water basin level and joint management has to be carried out on national and cross-border level. In both countries exactly in the Lielupe river basin the water quality is the lowest, which is the main reason for poor river fauna biodiversity and an obstacle to tourism and recreation development. Due to anthropogenic impacts, the river has poor oxygen conditions, as well as high concentration of organic substances and biogens.

The main environmental problems in the Lielupe river basin can be subdivided between (1) surface water quality; and (2) drinking water quality.

Key reasons for poor surface water quality are:

  • Diffused contamination (agriculture, forestry);

  • Site-related contamination (residential areas, impact of rural areas, industrial plants)

  • River transformation for melioration needs (due to high proportion of agricultural land).

With the project it is planned to improve the surface water quality in Lielupe river basin, setting the following aims:

General aim: sustainable nature resource use in Lielupe river basin.

Specific aims:

  • Surface water quality improvement in Lielupe river basin, reducing the site-related contamination sources;

  • Knowledge improvement on water quality, contamination and its sources for Lielupe river basin inhabitants in Latvia and Lithuania;

  • Cross-border (Latvia-Lithuania) cooperation promotion, application of experience and solution of joint issues, improving surface water quality in Lielupe river basin.

Project activities are selected according to partner competence and to provide problem solution in general. There are four groups of activities:

1) project management;

2) measures for reduction of site-related sources;

3) research activities on hydrologic situation in the river and practical measures along the river bank;

4) information and publicity.

The project is being realized in the Lielupe river basin territory cross-border regions, involving 5 partners from Latvia (Zemgale planning region, Baltic Environmental Forum, Jelgava district council, Bauska town council, Gailisi municipality council) and 2 partners from Lithuania (Birzai regional park and Pakruojis district).

The project duration is 14 months with the total eligible costs EUR 275071,32.

Direct target groups of the project and related actions are: Lielupe river basin inhabitants (informative materials on surface water quality and contamination, liquidation of particular contamination sources, cleaning of overgrown river sites, river bank facilitation) environmental experts, municipality staff (seminars on water quality, project results, methods in river cleaning) and youth (environment education summer camp).

Project outputs:

  • Implemented project and its activities;

  • Construction of rainwater sewage system in Bauska (mouth in Memele river) and elaboration of technical project for rainwater collection system development in 59 ha area in Bauska (mouth in Musa river);

  • Elaboration of feasibility study for rainwater sewage in Kalnciema village and Eleja village (Jegava district, LV);

  • Elaboration of a survey and feasibility study for improvement of river hydrologic conditions in Pakruojis district (LT);

  • Elaboration of pre-feasibility study and river bank assessment of a 5km section of Svete river bank (Jelgava district, LV);

  • Setup of boat stations and facilitation of Lielupe river bank in Jelgava district Stalgene and the Svete river bank in Livberze at Apini bridge (Jelgava district, LV);

  • Cleaning of Musa riverbed in 3 separate sections with the total length – 300m (Bauska district Bauska town and Gailisi municipality, LV);

  • Creation of two facilitated rest sites on the Musa river bank (Bauska district Bauska town and Gailisi municipality, LV);

  • Development and release of informative brochure on prevention of river contamination and water quality in Lielupe in Latvian and Lithuanian;

  • Organisation of a 5-day summer camp in Birzai regional park (LT) for youth from Latvia and Lithuania;

  • Organisation of a 1-day seminar on water quality problems in Lielupe river basin and organisation of a 1-day seminar on project results (Zemgale region, LV);

  • Publicity measures.