Our rivers - the challenge of trans-boundary waters

Implementation period: 21 May 2014- 13 May 2015.

The Bic River, a rightl tributary of the Nistru River, 155 km long, is classified as the most degraded river in the Republic of Moldova, which, starting with Chisinau, has become a sewage channel, which flows to the Dniester River. During 2012, CNM assessed the situation in the basin, involving 63 local public authorities, Ecological Inspections, Public Health Centers, "Apele Moldovei" Agency and other relevant institutions. Following this evaluation and the public consultations, a report on the "Ecological Situation in the Basin of the Bic River" was elaborated, which includes quantitative data on the main sources of river pollution and its degradation factors for all the localities in the basin. The study indicates that river Bic suffers from a large water deficit upstream of Chisinau (45% of the river springs from Calarasi and Straseni districts being captured for the supply of drinking water to the population), and the amount of remaining water is polluted with discharged waste and wastewater due to the non-functioning/absence of a sewerage system and treatment plants in most localities. Chisinau has a devastating impact on the river. According to the testes carried out by the Ecological Investigation Center of the Chisinau Ecological Agency, exceedences of the MAC of pollutants in the waters of Bic were found at all sampling points and these exceedances vary depending on the amount of pollutants discharged with the waste water, household waste, water polluted from the unauthorized car wash, the polluted and discharged storm waters by the economic agents of Chisinau municipality. The content of ammonia, nitrates, detergents, petroleum products exceeds the MAC. Thus, after the Chisinau municipality, it was found that due to excessive pollution, the amount of dissolved oxygen at the "Sângera-Floreni Bridge" sampling point is only 1.5 mg/l, while the required norm is 4.0-6,0 mg/l, which makes it impossible to maintain aquatic life. Therefore, a dead river is already flowing on the territory of Anenii Noi rayon, to which are its sources of pollution from waste and wastewater added. The conclusion of the Ecological Inspectorate is that the water quality of the Nistru River is also influenced by the affluent river Bic. According to the analytical data carried out by EIC EA Chişinău in the samples taken upstream and downstream of the Bic River flow point into the Nistru River, the village of Gura Bîcului, Anenii Noi district, there was an increase of concentrations downstream to upstream.
The assessment of the situation, together with the biological monitoring carried out in all the localities in the basin, combined with the discussions during public consultations and within the meetings of the Bic Basin Comitee, highlights the need to implement a whole set of actions, according to the needs identified for each locality. Thus, through its actions, the present project contributes to the improvement of the situation of the river Bîc.

In this respect, the CNM proposes to promote the integrated management of water resources in the basin of the river Bîc through actions to promote the increase of the water flow upstream of Chisinau municipality and to find solutions for stopping the cultivation of agricultural products downstream of Chisinau which are irrigated from Bic r. and are consumed by the entire region from the basin of Bic.

At the same time, CNM will replicate the Bic experience in the Ichel basin, a tributary of the Nistru River crossing the districts of Călăraşi, Străşeni, Criuleni and Chisinau. Ichel, 101 km long, is affected by various sources of pollution, flows into Nistru river upstream of Vadul-Vodă town, from where Chisinau is supplied with drinking water, at the same time Vadul-Vodă is the recreation resort on the Nistru used by the population of the country during the summer. The Nistru, being polluted by various tributaries, serves as a source of drinking water for the cities of Moldova (including Transnistria) and Ukraine (Odessa) and for irrigation of agricultural land.

The aim of the project is to improve water management in the Nistru river basin by involving communities in monitoring and improving water quality in the rivers of the Nistru River crossing the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

The project pursues the following results:

  • development and implementation of local policy "+3 springs - each year", which will contribute annually to the increase of the water flow in the Bic river basin upstream of Chisinau; 
  • involvement of the Anenii Noi localities along the river, practicing agriculture on the banks of the river in search of solutions (legal, switching to other crops that do not require irrigation or are non-food) to reduce the impact on the health of the population from the consumption of toxic agricultural products;
  • development of a local policy on an agriculture harmless to human health and finding solutions for  harmless watering of animals in the localities of Anenii Noi with the installation of a pilot site in one of the localities of Anenii Noi district for safe watering and the promotion of the results in all downstream localities of Chisinau in Anenii Noi district; 
  • creation of 4 Civil Monitoring Centers in Calarasi, Straseni, Ialoveni and Anenii Noi. These Centers will be created based on a high school in the city, consisting of volunteer teachers and students who will take samples. For the recognition of data by competent institutions such as the State Hydrometeorological Service, the teachers in these districts will be trained and certified by the National Environmental Center and the State Hydrometeorological Service; 
  • creation of the web-site of the Civil Monitoring Centers. All data collected as a result of the monitoring will be placed on the site and handed over to the competent bodies; 
  • organizing meetings with the mayors and municipal enterprises "Apa-Canal" from Călăraşi, Străşeni, Ialoveni and Anenii Noi districts in order to find the accumulation and transfer solutions for the wastewater treatment plants in the domestic sector and public institutions in order to prevent the untreated wastewater discharge in illegal places; 
  • adaptation of the Council's Operational Regulation to the new Regulation on the setting up and functioning of the Hydrographic Basin District Committee elaborated by the Ministry of Environment in 2013;
  • organizing the planting campaign of the protection belts of Bic, with a special emphasis on the localities of Anenii Noi, where the protection strips are missing. Thus, at least 10 km of protection belts will be planted in the Anenii Noi river, on both banks of the river, on the segment of the river. Anenii Noi - village of Calfa.

The project "Our rivers - the challenge of transboundary waters" is funded by the GEF Small Grants Program, implemented by UNDP and co-funded by the EcoCatalyst Foundation