Developing Sustainable Water Management Practices to Conserve Environmental Flow in Ohrid Lake Region

Project title:Project Title – Developing Sustainable Water Management Practices to Conserve Environmental Flow in Ohrid Lake Region

Duration: September 2014 – August 2015

Overview and objectives: The project aims at developing a strategy for sustainable water management in the area of Pogradec, which encompasses the whole Lake Ohrid shore that belongs to Albania. Given that this area is a key biodiversity area; water mismanagement has brought disturbances in the flora and fauna of the area, especially from tourism, agriculture, and mining industry (in the past). Climate change effects are being felt in Albania as well, making rainfall erratic, and forcing farmers and tourism industry to withdraw more water from the fragile environment. The area has a lack of information and skills on water preservation and prevention of water pollution. The project will address three key issues:
1. Sustainable water management and prevention of water pollution
2. Efficient irrigation
3. Climate change & Ecosystem Preservation of the area.
The project will set the basis for the start of concrete works for water conservation in the area, keeping in mind biodiversity protection and climate change adaptation. This project is needed to secure the sustainable development of the area, and mitigate climate change effects in the area.
We will aim to highlight the most polluted areas, finding the source of pollution, estimate the amount of specific elements already affecting directly at the eutrophication processes of Ohrid Lake, and how to preserve spring waters for the supply of the biodiversity and population of all ecosystems in Ohrid Lake

The project aims to:

    • Facilitate and support the development of pilot project that help climate change adaptations, efficient irrigation techniques, biodiversity conservation, and prevention of water pollution;
    • Introduction of innovative models to the local communities to save water -Drip Irrigation & – Automatic Irrigation Control Center, adapt to climate change, create conditions for biodiversity and decrease the water pollution;
    • Revival of traditional ways of conserving water without harming the environment;
    • Introduction of ideas on innovative financing schemes to conserve water, through principles like: user-pays principle, polluter-pays principle, subsidies the good, tax the bad;
    • Creation of a sustainable water management strategy for the area.

Activities:

    • Research, Data Collection, meeting with the interested actors
    • Field work to collect data, Visual presentation of data collected in Acad and GIS
    • Collection of best techniques, methods and practices in sustainable water management, efficient irrigation, climate change adaptation and protection of landscape. Frequent meetings with our partners Grashnica from Ohrid & Gaus from Bitola, in order to exchange our best practices, knowledge and follow the main issues that are affecting Ohrid Lake nowadays.
    • Development of a pilot project that will encompass the three main issues-efficient irrigation, reduction of nutrient pollution of watercourses resulting from agricultural activities and climate change adaptation, through workshops with the local authorities
    • Workshops with the local communities to get introduce the innovative ideas and get feedback on the traditional methods they use in water conservation, and with the local authorities to develop the innovative pilot project
    • Production of the toolkit and strategy for sustainable water management
    • Production of a feasibility study that gives a real time snapshot of the general situation from the Albanian Part of Ohrid.
    • Introduction of the toolkit and the strategy through seminars in Pogradec Tirana and Oher.
    • Water Stewardship Document, dissemination in Albania.
    • Attending 3 out of 8-info days in Macedonia.
    • Sound Water Management on the farm, publication and dissemination in Albania.
    • Policy Round Table

Project leader: Mr. Edvin Pacara

Funding: The project is financially supported by Birdlife International and DOPPS, through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

Project publications:

The publications for this project can be ordered from IEP’s office or online via the general email address of IEP.

The project is financially supported by Birdlife International and DOPPS, through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

Video from the project can be seen here.