Mott MacDonald is to lead a consortium - also comprising Euroconsult Mott MacDonald (Netherlands) and Milieu (Belgium) - which has been appointed by the European Commission’s (EC) EuropeAid Cooperation Office to provide technical consultancy on a project that will improve water legislation in six western countries in the Eastern Europe and Caucasus (EECCA) area.
The two-year project valued at around €2.1 million has been introduced to improve, implement and enforce water governance towards EU standards. A further objective is to maintain fair distribution of water between beneficiary countries and consumers. This project enforces the Western EECCA and Caucasus countries’ commitment to converge their environmental legislation with that of the European Union, as expressed in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements signed between the EU and the neighbouring countries.
The project also acknowledges the need to respond to the insufficient water supply, sanitation and poor water quality that continues to affect public health in the countries covered by the project. Issues particularly acute in the EECCA countries are inadequate water monitoring, poor quality of drinking water with often intermittent supply and a continuous deterioration of water supply and sanitation services over the past 15 years. In particular, in rural areas there are high leakage losses in water distribution systems as well as poor management and maintenance of irrigation systems.
Water management is a key issue in the region due to the numerous transboundary rivers and lakes in the area that straddle the borders with EU countries. It has also been identified that effective river basin management requires suitable legislation, appropriate institutions with powers to enforce compliance with the law and sufficient capability in terms of numbers of staff, professional skills, facilities and equipment as well as reliable data.
This contract is of strategic importance as it is building on Mott MacDonald’s strong track record in transboundary water resources management. The project will have operational links with the Environmental Collaboration for the Black Sea project which also has a focus on water legislation and is being delivered by the same consortium - Mott MacDonald, Euroconsult Mott MacDonald and Milieu – with funding from the EC.