Significant drought periods in the Kosovo region led to a near depletion of the reserves in their water reservoirs. Such droughts present a significant issue as only 5% of surface water flows into Kosovo. With ever-increasing demands on Kosovo’s already low groundwater reserves, investments in water reservoirs and renovation of water supply and irrigation systems need to be combined with professionally developed plans for dealing with the consequences and prevention of drought at national and regional level.
For the purpose of mitigating the drought issues in Kosovo, Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE) submitted a project proposal via the SlovakAid funding mechanism and created a partnership with Water and Waste Water Works Association Kosovo (SHUKOS) in order to develop an effective support dealing with drought related issues on a national scale.
In this partnership, GWP CEE acts as a project leader, developing the strategy and coordinating the efforts to successfully and efficiently implement all proposed deliverables. SHUKOS is making sure that all the activities are linked with their ongoing process and making sure that the key stakeholders from the ground are included in the project activities.
The main objective of the present project is to support sustainable water management and economic development in Kosovo through interventions and measures for integrated drought management as a consequence of climate change.
The specific objectives of the project are:
1. To improve the water resources management system due to the impacts of drought as a manifestation of climate change through the implementation of mitigation measures;
2. Increase technical and staff capacity to manage drought as well as public awareness of its waterresource implications through education to understand and implement the proposed measures.
In December 2022, a kick-off meeting was held between the project partners to introduce the cooperation on integrated drought management in Kosovo, as well as activities in Kosovo during the Drin management process.
Main outcomes of the project will include Draft Action Plan for the Drin River Pilot Basin, as an integrated part of the River Basin Management Plan, as required by the Water Framework Directive of the European Union (WFD). Other outcomes will include a set of drought mitigation measures suitable for Kosovo, such as prevention, risk reduction, its management during drought occurrence and measures to cope with its consequences.
Additionally, the project partners plan to develop a Drought Management Platform and organize a national consultative dialogue on drought management for institutions and experts from sectors affected by its impacts.
Using these project findings, a special training for water management experts and farmers aimed at sharing experiences and practices in the application of drought impact prevention measures for water resources and sustainable development in the affected watersheds will be organized during the life span of the project.
The results have implications for addressing the impacts of climate change and environmental protection, and for improving socio-economic impacts on different population groups. The project’s results will contribute to the sustainable use of water resources and economic developmentand to dealing with the impacts of climate change, through appropriate management of the consequences of drought in Kosovo, as part of the WFD Water Basin Plans.
SlovakAid functions as a Slovak government supported international funding mechanism. Under the SlovakAid brand, the Slovak Republic has been effectively and concretely contributing to the implementation of sustainable development goals and to solving important global challenges.