GrandeRio project

Joint management measures for waters in the Lielupe river basin region
(Project acronym - GrandeRio)

Overall objective of project: to improve environmental status in the Lielupe river basin by implementing joint measures targeted to management of water resources in the border region.

Duration: January 2011-November 2012

Project financed by Latvia-Lithuania cross border cooperation programme (2007-2013), project nr. LLIII-157

Sub-objectives of the project:

- to strengthen planning of water related public services in the bordering settlements in the Lielupe river basin;

- to increase environmental awareness of society by gained information, knowledge and skills in the management of water resources;

- to improve water and nature conditions and use of resources in the Lielupe river basin.

Partnership is based on identified common problems to be dealt by municipalities. Municipalities: Bauska, Dobele, Rundale and Pakruojis play key role in the project. However, due to lack of environmental knowledge and need to take environmental awareness actions, Biržai Regional Park and Baltic Environmental Forum are involved to ensure achievement of objectives. Zemgale Planning Region is a coordinator and development visionary.

Main activities:

  • on public water services: Study on the existing solutions and practices on the rain water, drinking and sewage water in rural settlements; cross-border seminar on the existing practices on the water management solutions; criteria & technologies for investment envisaged for rural areas; planning and designing of improvements in water systems in the region;
  • on environmental awareness: inventory on the river water quality by boating, sampling and express tests; local meetings and campaigning with individual house/land owners to encourage undertaking the improvement measures; disseminating environmental information via web-site, calendar, maps; summer schools and informative events on water management; recommendations for amendments in river basin management plans;
  • on use of water & nature resources: cleaned river/lake banks; set up local recreation sites including such elements as river piers, tables, garbage bins, toilets, workshop on "Practical steps for clean-up" actions.

Project target groups:

Inhabitants in Bauska, Dobele, Rundale, Biržai and Pakruojis municipalities inhabitants of 12 settlements will have preconditions to attract investments in improvement of infrastructure; inhabitants of 9 settlements will have accesses to clean-up and properly equipped bathing areas; administrations and experts of 4 partner municipalities will have increased their skills and knowledge in cross-border cooperation for water management; gained new experience in participation in environmental awareness building activities.

Schoolchildren and students in the summer schools and informative events have learned about waters and environmental issues in the Lielupe basin.

Ministry of Environment/River Basin Management Authority in Latvia and Lithuania: received more specific info on quality of waters in Lielupe basin; ensured the engagement of stakeholders and citizens in water management; strengthened cross border cooperation and planning.

NGOs representatives which are active in river basin management will have stronger arguments for negotiating the water improvement needs also in smaller settlements; have had opportunity to visit a place and perform environmental campaign for local inhabitants; will have information materials to be used for communicating with citizens.