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Belarus

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COUNTRY DESCRIPTION

The new Water Code of the Republic of Belarus replaces the 1998 Code and has been signed by the President of the Republic of Belarus on 30 April 2014. In force since May 2015, it is the principal legal act for pursuing state policy for sustainable development, and protection and rehabilitation of the country’s surface water and groundwater resources.

This new Water Code 2014 introduces the main innovations:

  • Usage of River Basin Management Approach in the form of advisory rivers basin councils (before: the combination of rational use of water and protection within the boundaries of administrative-territorial units of the Republic of Belarus and the catchment areas (basin of water bodies));
  • Development of River Basin Management Plan for the integrated water resources management for the main river basins, based on the data of the State Water Cadastre, State Cadastre of Mineral Resources, monitoring of surface water and groundwater monitoring and Basin Councils recommendations;
  • Ecological state (status) assessment of surface water using hydrobiological, hydrochemical and hydromorphological indicators as part of the National Environmental Monitoring System in the Republic of Belarus.

Belarus puts particular effort into harmonizing its water-related legislation with EU legal acts, which is among the goals of the Water Strategy until 2020. There are a number of recently adopted technical regulatory legal acts that follow the relevant EU regulations but need to be made applicable for the conditions of Belarus through implementing various administrative, technical, capacity-building and other measures

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