Discussion of the outcomes and proposals of the mission report

On January 31, 2013, a meeting was held in the frameworks of the Project at Anatolia Hotel. The purpose of the workshop was to review and discuss outcomes and proposals made by Working Group on the result of the Project Mission on 26 November- 01 December 2012. Delegates from State Agency for Water Resources, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and ASPI Consulting Company took part in the meeting.

The researches were carried out in the following directions:

· Drinking water supplies in the mountain communities located in the project area and water sources used for irrigation

· The current condition of protection dams during floods and heavy flow in the mountainous communities located in the basins of major rivers and their tributaries

· Identification of the areas which need the construction of protection dams

· Conduction of a preliminary review of hydrological stations of MENR working on rivers

· Determination of the place of new meteorological and hydrological stations

· Assessment of the climate change impact in mountain communities

As a result of this mission a relevant report was prepared. The following outcomes were obtained:

1.The studies revealed that rivers were the source of water supply for the vast majority of mountainous communities. Change in river flows has direct serious impacts on lives of the community members.

2.In various times some hydraulic facilities such as protective dams, stream directing facilities etc. were build in order to protect communities and plantations from the river stream and flood water. The studies revealed that the works done were insufficient for the protection of communities. From this point of view, construction of protective facilities should be resumed.

3.Over the last decades, frequency and severity level of streams and floods have increased. It is also affected by anthropogenic factors in addition to the climate factors.

4.The river-bed level rises due to cumulation of debris materials, carried by the river flow, in the river-bed in most parts of rivers covered by the study. Due to that, threats, caused by streams and floods, are increasing for the communities, which inhabited near rivers.

5.Some apparent impacts of the climate change on the forest cover are being observed. Change of vertical borders of isotherm lines, reflecting the temperature regime of the area, has its impacts on plant-growing. Researches on climate and plant-growing should be made in order to learn this change more thoroughly.

6.As it is known, the rainfall, falling on the surface, reaches the river-bed as quickly as the plant cover decreases in the river basin. Besides this, while the temperature amplitude increases and the surface plant cover decreases, the erosion rate also rises in the river basin (especially in upper flow) which results in carrying of more debris to the river-bed. Cumulation of debris in narrow parts of rivers reduces the flow capacity of river-beds. Due to such reasons, during raining times the stream risks increase.

7.Due to artificial removal of plant cover of the river banks or if we say more exactly as a result of anthropogenic impact, intensive erosion processes are in progress in various places. Besides building of dams, taking of alternative actions is also advisable for prevention of erosion.

8.The current hidrological stations of the MHD of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources do not meet present-day requirements. The hammock passes should be restored and repaired to carry out actions on measurement of water consumption with traditional methods (at least) in all hidrological stations.

9.Places for building of automated hidrological and meteorological stations, provided for within the project, have been established initially.

10.Population of the mountainous communities use the forest trees, available in surrounding areas, as firewood to meet their thermal demand. As a result it reduces the forest cover and thickness.

11.Domestic waste, produced by the communities, are dumped into the river-beds and it is a source of danger for those, who use the river water in the water supply. In the course of studies, some photos and coordinates of the domestic waste, dumped into the various river-beds, were taken. It is advisable to take relevant actions.

After the introduction to the purpose of the workshop the following proposals were given for discussion:

1.A geographical database should be created within the “Integrating Climate Change Risks into Water and Flood Management by Vulnerable Mountainous Communities in the Greater Caucasus Region” project. It is advisable that this database to be created shall contain:

a.outcomes of researches, made in the past decades, on a given anaysis area

b.outcomes of studies and observations carried out within the project;

c.data on streams and floods (dates of occurrence, continuation, consequences etc.);

d.statistically analyzed data of hidrological and meteorological stations functioning (also those shut down) in the area covered by the project;

e.necessary data gathered from various sources (data acquired from local executive authorities, community members on demand etc.).

2.It should be a complex approach to water and flood management by vulnerable mountainous communities. So, besides building of dams to protect the communities from streams and floods, it is advisable to research thoroughly into the causes of intensification of streams and floods over the last decades and develop a plan of preventive actions.

3.stream centres (hotbeds) over the basins of rivers with stream risks should be reexamined, mapped and included into the database.

4.The current hidrological observation stations functioning over the rivers should be modernized as they do not meet the present-day requirements.

5.Besides building of automated meteorological and hidrological posts within the building of the early warning system, a currently-operating centre should be created for their operation.

6.Besides protective actions to prevent cutting of forests, it is advisable to supply the mountainous communities with gas as soon as possible.

7.Application of Integrated Water Resources Management in a given analysis area would be an improtant step in solution of an issue regarding the complex approach in management.

8.Researches in the area covered by the project should be continued on seasons, especially in times of high flow.

9.Awareness-raising actions should be carried out in the communities for water use and environmental protection.

10.Preventive actions should be taken due to cumulation of debris in the river-beds carried in most parts of rivers. This issue can be solved through transfer of rock quarries, currently functioning at the northern part of the country, to this areas, use of these debris as needed raw materials in road laying and construction, taking of actions to prevent upper surface and side part erosion etc.

It was decided to:

1.Take into consideration the points made during the discussions.

2.To add proposals outlined in the mission report to the Inception report

3.To initiate procurement and installation of 2 neccessary hydrological stations on 2 selected pilot rivers as was proposed by working group in the frames of activity 1(Water and Flood Management) of the Project.

4.To distribute Project budget according to its needs.

5.To allocate certain amount in the budget for purchasing mentioned equipment.