The most visible results of the project are a jointly prepared joint monitoring program and a joint action plan for the water bodies of the project area in the Gauja/Koiva and Salaca/Salatsi river basins, which in turn will lay the foundations for sustainable cooperation between the two countries in their implementation in the future as well.
The cooperation included the exchange of knowledge and good practices between Estonia and Latvia, such as IT tools, and by using models, RBMP implementation agreements, and implementation of the RBMP on the national and local level.
Main activities that the project partners carried out are:
- Assessments for Gauja/Koiva and Salaca/Salatsi river basins. During the project period project partners carried out 4 one-day workshops and 2 two-day workshops, and field works to exchange the experience, where Estonian partners were involved in practical measurements of ecological flow evaluation.
- Developing a joint action plan for Gauja/Koiva and Salaca/Salatsi river basins and exchange of knowledge and good practices. The joint action plan of measures was developed to improve water quality and management of common water resources of both countries and will be used and implemented by the governmental institutions (LEGMC, EEB, MoE, MEPRD, EAE) and local municipalities and local stakeholders, and other institutions responsible for and involved in the River Basin Management Planning and water management more generally. The first step included the revision of measures in the existing River Basin Management Plans of both countries and, where necessary, additional measures for achieving environmental targets, were developed. Economic analysis was performed to support that the environmental targets can be reached in a cost-effective way. During the project period, we had under this activity 9 one-day workshops and one seminar organized to exchange knowledge and good practices. In order to ensure implementation of the measures in the future, workshops were organized for the local municipalities and stakeholders situated in the region of Gauja/Koiva and Salaca/Salatsi river basins. Also, 2 study visits (one in Estonia and one in Latvia) to sites where measures have been implemented efficiently were organized for the specialists of the authorities of both countries. Implementation of four in-site small-scale filtration equipment on small rivers/ditches of Burtnieku lake in Burtnieku Municipality demonstrate practical non-expensive steps to reduce eutrophication of waters and to help to estimate the cost-effectiveness of such measure, thus sharing knowledge between countries. During the project activities, it became clear that in order to achieve a greater effect in reducing nutrients each filter should be installed on a separate small river or ditch and so 4 filters were installed on different rivers/ditches in 4 different locations instead of the planned one location.
- Developing a joint monitoring program for Gauja/Koiva and Salaca/Salatsi river basins. The joint monitoring program is the direct added value from the cross-border cooperation. It ensures coordinated follow-up monitoring actions and provides a better framework for common water resources management in the future. To achieve this, 2 one-day and 2 two-day workshops between Estonian and Latvian specialists of authorities were organized to exchange knowledge and good practices and information.
- Project management and communication involving the target groups as part of conferences, workshops, and seminars in both countries. The above-mentioned tasks and activities were achieved through effective management of the project, which included organizing 2 conferences, meetings, workshops in both countries, organizing 2 study trips, and ensuring the project communication and reporting. There have been 145 participants at project events, except management meetings. Actual information and presentations from events can be looked up here. Presentations in Latvian.
The project has a positive impact on the water quality of common waters. The result of the full positive impact will be possible to observe after some years when all the planned measures will be implemented and the water quality will be improved. The monitoring program will give us the possibility to monitor those positive changes in time. 4 small-scale filtration equipment that was installed on four small rivers/ditches of Burtneku lake will give the improvement of the water quality. At the same time, it will enable sharing a positive experience with others.
The project provided very active and close cooperation between the Estonian Ministry of Environment, Environmental Board of Southern Region, local municipalities and Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Vidzeme Planning Region, Burtnieku municipality and other local municipalities to set up the integrated monitoring program and the joint action plan of measures for the project area of Gauja/Koiva and Salaca/Salatsi river basins.
Website of the project.