A team of scientists from the Institute of Hydrobiology of the NAS of Ukraine participated in a unique international ecological event - the fourth joint international survey of the Danube River (Joint Danube Surveys 4, JDS). The second largest aquatic artery in Europe flows in the territories of 10 countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine - and into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.
Considering the priority of environmental issues in the European Union countries (which include achievement of good water quality and safe ecological status), since 2001, an international team of Danubian countries under the auspices of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube (ICPDR) has initiated research throughout the river. Three previous Danube surveys were carried out in 2001, 2007 and 2013. Experts from the Institute of Hydrobiology have been involved in these studies since 2007, although the first international investigation of the Danube River, which was organized by Ukrainian hydrobiologists, was during the expedition in 1988 supported by the International Association for Danube Research. The fourth (JDS4) expedition began in June 2019 and reached Ukraine at the end of the month.
The main purpose of JDS4 surveys is to obtain reliable and comparable information on specially selected elements of water quality throughout the length of the river, including its tributaries, and to harmonize water monitoring practices and procedures in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive through close international coordination and cooperation.
JDS 4 defines three of the following goals as core:
- collecting data on parameters that are not usually analyzed during the current monitoring;
- collecting information on water characteristics and organisms living in different places along the river, in a format that can be easily compared between regions and countries;
- raising awareness of Danube water quality and ongoing efforts to protect and restore the environment.
Given the long-standing experience of the Institute of Hydrobiology of the NAS of Ukraine in the research of the Danube, reservoirs and watercourses of its basin in the territory of Ukraine and other European countries, the participation of the Institute in the implementation of a number of scientific and applied developments and international projects, ICPDR is for the third time engaging the Institute in the work of JDS on Ukrainian territory. This year, Joint Danube Survey in Ukraine began on 29 June on Danube Day.
The event was organized by the State Agency for Water Resources of Ukraine, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources together with Kiliya united territorial community, EU project " Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership Countries " and the EU - UNDP project " Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea - Selected Measures". Specialists of the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute of the NAS of Ukraine and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine participated in the hydroecological researches together with the experts of the Institute of Hydrobiology. Scientific research is ongoing.