Kaliningrad Takes Up Water Issues

Posted: 2011-06-30

On May 18, 2011, a report was launched on improving water resources management in Kaliningrad, Russia.

The report, "Managing and Development of the Water Resources Assets in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia in Support of Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability", was published by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) who prepared the report with contributions from the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and its Country Water Partnerships in Poland and Lithuania. Support also came from the Northern Dimension Foundation, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Swedish River Basin District Authority for the Northern Baltic Sea.

The report was presented to the Vice Governor of the Kaliningrad Oblast at a workshop attended by 36 stakeholders who have an interest in water resources in Kaliningrad.

According to the SIWI website, “the report demonstrates how effective water resources management can support sustainable economic development in sectors such as tourism, health, agriculture and industry while at the same time restoring ecosystem services in accordance with the Russian Water Act and the EU Water Framework Directive.”

The Kaliningrad Oblast is a territory of Russia situated on the Baltic coast between Lithuania and Poland and not contiguous with the Russian mainland, with a population of 941,500. Kaliningrad has a rich natural landscape but its water resources and the hydraulic infrastructure assets are in poor condition. GWP is involved in developing a Water Resources Investment Program for the Kaliningrad Oblast.

The discussion at the workshop highlighted a strong interest to start a water resources management programme with transboundary dimensions together with neighboring states that share river basins and coastal lagoons in Poland and Lithuania. Transboundary planning and investment programs could be coordinated and implemented with support from external financing agencies.

Experiences of Lithuania and Poland in the implementation of an integrated approach, and the EU Water Framework Directive, offer options to work in partnership to prepare joint management and development plans for the transboundary Pregola and Neman River Basins. "We cannot develop a comprehensive Nemunas (Neman) River Basin District Management Plan without the involvement of the Kaliningrad Oblast," said Dr. Bernardas Paukstys, Chair of GWP Lithuania, acknowledging the fact that water has no borders.

Managing and Developing the Water Resources Assets in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia in Support of Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability  (Available in English and Russian)

More about GWP Central and Eastern Europe

The SIWI report "Collective Action in the Baltic Sea Region - Options for Strengthening Implementation of the Environmental Pillar of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region" provides an overview of the region and the environmental and political challenges it faces.

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