One of the core activities of the National Environmental Center is the protection of surface waters.
The aquatic resources of the Republic of Moldova are represented by surface and groundwater. Surface waters, that include small rivers and lakes, are an indispensable and extremely valuable part of the natural environment of the Republic of Moldova. The hydrographic basin of the Republic of Moldova is represented by 3621 rivers and streams, including 7 with a length of over 100 km, another 247 - over 10 km, 57 lakes with a surface of 62.2 sq km and about 3000 ponds and reservoirs, with a volume of 1.8 cubic km and the surface of the water mirror of 333 sq km. The Republic of Moldova has 82 artificial water basins, the largest being Costesti-Stînca on the Prut river (735 mln. cubic meters of water) and Dubăsari on the Dniester river (277.4 mln. cubic meters of water). These data represent one of the important premises necessary for the management of aquatic resources and the adequate maintenance of ecological conditions, the existence of a surveillance system, the provision of information on the quantity, quality, state, dynamics, interactions in space and time, the prediction of worsening or improvement of their quality, and so on.
All aquatic objects: rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs and ponds are considered surface waters and are considered the national property of the Republic of Moldova. The Water Law no. 272 of 23.12.2011, article 5 provides the following: The water resources management provides that the hydrographic district is the main unit for the management of the river basins and of the associated groundwater; the sub-basins, in their turn, are delimited in districts. Government Decision no. 775 of 04.10.2013 regarding the boundaries of the river basin and sub-basin districts and the special maps in which they are determined, acting on the basis of the Water Law no. 272 of 23.12.2011, delimited the boundaries of two hydrographic districts: Prut and Dniester. Within these hydrographic districts are included 4 hydrographic basins: the Danube, the Black Sea, Prut and Dniester. In these hydrographic basins, in their turn, 39 hydrographic sub-basins are distinguished: Sărata, Hagider, Chirghiş-Chitai, Catlabuh, Cahul, Racovăţ, Vilia-Lopatnic, Camenca, Căldăruşa, Şovăţ, Delia, Bratuleanca, Varşava, Nîrnova, Sărata, Ciuhur, Ciorna-Rezina, Racovăţ-Sănătăuca-Alcedar, Rîbniţa-Iagorlîc, Răut, Nistru Vechi-Ştiubei-Liman, Ocniţa-Ocna, Ichel, Iagorlîcul Uscat-Comarova, Botna, Bălţata-Șerpeni, Bîc, Naslavcea-Vasilcău, Colcotov-Cuciurgan, Nistru, Lăpuşna, Frumoasa-Crihana, Alcalia, Gîrla Mare-Şoltoaia, Larga, Tigheci, Saharna-Jidauca, Cogîlnic, Ialpug.