Eight huge complexes comprising dams, reservoirs and hydroelectric facilities operate on the Volga. The result: what was once flowing water has become a chain of lakes. Unable to flush themselves out, these lakes are seriously polluted by industrial waste, sewage and agricultural run-off.
While polluted water discharge into the Volga Basin declined by a third during the last 15 years, water quality, and especially drinking water quality, remains high on the environmental agenda. None of the major cities in the Volga Basin is supplied with drinking water that complies with national and World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
If the Volga is to be rescued from this predicament, those seeking to bring about change must combine their efforts, resources and ideas and present a united front. While previous attempts to address individual problems had taken place, they were impeded by low levels of cooperation between academics and policy-makers, a dearth of cross-sectoral cooperation and a lack of civil society involvement.
It is here that the CABRI-Volga project comes in. Bringing together 17 partners from the public and private sector in Russia and seven EU Member States, the project facilitated cooperation and coordinated research on environmental risk management in the context of large river basins in the EU, Russia and the New Independent States (NIS).READ MORE