The area of Zarati river sub basin belongs to important water recharge zones. There is, however, a need to restore the area, which has been susceptible to degradation. Action has been taken in a bottom-up manner, applying Participatory Rural Assessment. Important lessons can be drawn from this in terms of IWRM, as it sets a clear example of active participation of the communities and the local authorities.
The San Juan River waters have experienced deterioration due to poor management of its basin. To address the issues, action has been taken to implement IWRM to address the areas of water, soil, forests and municipal development in a cross-sectoral manner. This case study is a good reminder of the integrated nature of IWRM, and the importance of a model that accounts for management of both water and land.
The area around Lake Moyua is experiencing severe soil degradation resulting from inappropriate agricultural practices. To reverse and control the degradation process, an IWRM Plan is implemented. By involving the communities, the aim is to restore the soil, the hydrological systems, forests and biodiversity, as well as the harmonisation of policies and implementation of management regulations. This case study consequently demonstrates the value of a bottom-up approach.
The Prespa basin was affected by over-abstraction and diversion of water, wetland drainage, deforestation and overgrazing, leading to danger for human livelihoods and ecosystems. Action was taken by WWF through the creation of the Society for the Protection of Prespa, eventually culminating in the creation of Prespa National Park. The lesson drawn is that to change the perspective of local stakeholders to ensure that they share a common vision is vital for success.
In Slovenia, water is extracted for drinking water, energy, fish-farming, irrigation and technological purposes. In order to avoid over-extraction, an Environmental Flow framework has been implemented, assessing within what limits water can be extracted, using hydromorphological, hydrological, hydraulic and ecological criteria. The case shows that it is important to combine policy decisions with expert evaluations.
The Ruzinov Strkovec Lake has been subjected to severe pollution due to contaminated by illegal sewage pipes. The Association of Industry and Nature Protection took action and initiated and organised a project to both revitalise the lake and draw the attention of local people to its flora and fauna. The key lesson learnt is how the partnership between an NGO and municipality can result in a successful revitalisation of local water resources.
Large scale projects in Slovakia caused negative effects in terms of biodiversity losses and reduced floodplain ecosystem functions. To combat this, a project “Integration of Ecosystem Management Principles and Practices into Land and water Management” of Laborec-Uh region was initiated. This case illustrates the importance of accounting for both biodiversity and economic returns when developing projects.
The national reserve Sur is deteriorating. Action has been taken by NGOs to initiate a project to restore water conditions in the reserve, including the interplay between water and soil. Despite the projects importance, it failed to be implemented due to conflicts with national authorities. This case illustrates the danger of EU initiatives being implemented without an active public involvement since this creates risks of low acceptance of local communities and land owners.