The National Stakeholders’ Dialogue “Rethinking Water Safety for Ukraine” Print
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:16

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On March 17, 2016 Global Water Partnership (GWP) of Ukraine held the first national dialogue dedicated to stakeholders’ discussion of water safety issues supported by the State Agency of Water Resources of Ukraine.

The representatives of the central authorities took part in the dialogue, namely: the National Security and Defense Council; State Agency of Water Resources; Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing; Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Center and Central Geophysical Observatory; as well as specialists of Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University and Educational and Research Institute "Institute of Geology”, National University of Water and Environment, the State Institute of Management and Economics of Water Resources; National Institute for Strategic Studies, Institute of Water Problems and Land Reclamation of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Institute of Geological Sciences; Ukrainian center of ecological and water projects; Ukrainian association “Ukrvodokanalecologiya”; State Enterprise “Scientific Research and Design and Technology Institute of Municipal Economy”, National Ecological Center of Ukraine (NECU), UNENGO MAMA-86 and mass media.

Participants in the dialogue discussed the current vision and approach to water safety: international and Ukrainian experience, conceptual and legal framework, as well as problems of water availability (surface and groundwater) resources in Ukraine: a quantitative and qualitative situation and forecasts.

Resolution of the first national dialogue “Rethinking Water Safety for Ukraine”

  1. The state of water resources and water supply for Ukrainian population remains one of the main and urgent threats to the national security in the environmental sphere. Under economic and political transformation, military aggression, and on the background of climate change this threat acquires new urgency and aspects. The participants agree with assessment of the situation given in the decision of the National Security Council of Ukraine of April 25, 2013 “On the status of implementation of the decisions of the National Security Council of Ukraine from February 27, 2009 “On the state of water safety and provision of the population with high-quality drinking water in the Ukrainian settlements” which was put into force by the decree of the President of Ukraine from June 25, 2013 №350, and also with the necessity to complete its tasks in full, in particular the development of the Water strategy of Ukraine.
  2. The dynamics and qualitative and quantitative specifics of the processes in nature and society require fast and effective response both at the level of water policy development (strategies and visions, principles, prioritization, development of legal framework) and at the management level (development of institutions with proper allocation of responsibilities, development of monitoring and information management systems, situations forecasting, management tools) and scientific and technical support for integrated water resources management in Ukraine.
  3. Given the global development challenges — ensuring social equity, economic efficiency and sustainability of ecosystems — and the commitments articulated in the Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) for the period till 2030 approved by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, the Ukrainian government has to adopt national goals and indicators of sustainable development for the period 2016–2030. Ensuring equal and sustainable access to water and sanitation occupies a special place in the Global Action Plan and formulated in SDG No 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” and 8 targets thereto.
  4. Taking into account Ukraine's international obligations under the Convention on Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes 1992 and Protocol on Water and Health, which entered into force in 2005, and objectives of European integration under the Association Agreement between Ukraine and EU 2014, Ukraine should shift in water resources management to risk management based on integrated management under basin principle.
  5. The current vision, including GWP, of water safety is to ensure: i) enough safe water for the population, economy and nature; ii) protection and minimization of the destructive force of water (underflooding, flooding, erosion, drought, diseases related to water) and iii) maximising benefits of water through the integrated (comprehensive, interconnected and multi-sectoral) water management.
  6. Modern approaches to water resources management is to ensure / comply with acceptable levels of all water risks: i) the risk of poor quality of fresh water and the risk of insufficient sustainability of freshwater ecosystems, ii) the risk of water shortage (including drought) and the risk of excessive water (including high water and floods). The purpose of management should be to achieve the good status of water resources that, in accordance with European ideology, only slightly differs from natural state.
    Modern concept of water resources management (based on risk assessment and management, rejection of the concept of “zero risk”, definition of acceptable risk through inclusive participation of all stakeholders) has arisen primarily out of the understanding of the necessity to adapt to climate change, the first its consequences are happening in the field of water resources just on our eyes. This concept requires the efforts of science for its promotion and development of methodological base in Ukraine. Today, these approaches are the basis for planning tools development for the water sector, including River basin management plan according to the EU Water Framework Directive, Water and sanitation safety plans for the implementation of the Protocol on Water and Health.
  7. The issue of water resources availability for Ukrainian population is very important, given the unequal distribution of surface and underground water resources in space and time in Ukraine. Available demographic and climatic trends require further analysis and evaluation of current and forecasting assessments of water resources availability for population, economy and natural ecosystems in Ukraine with taking into account existed international methodologies for dataupdating .
  8. To provide reliable data (including forecasts) for decision-making is an urgent issue that requires the improvement of state environment monitoring system, including the creation of the unified data collection system to get real and reliable information on ecological status of surface water and qualitative and quantitative status of groundwater.
  9. The issue of groundwater monitoring is rather urgent, as its monitoring network has been steadily reduced in recent years, which affects negatively the reliability of available data on the status and volumes of groundwater, particularly in the areas with high anthropogenic loads.
  10. To use the materials of reports and discussion of NAP “Rethinking water security for Ukraine” (3 more dialogues on this subject are planned in 2016) to form water safety vision and the proposals to the Water Strategy of Ukraine from the public stakeholders.
  11. To submit the recommendations of the First National Dialogue “Rethinking water security for Ukraine” to the Presidential Administration, respective Committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and relevant Central executive authorities and the National Security Council administrative office for proper consideration.

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