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On 31 January 2019, the “European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership” (EUWI+) project will gather experts and water actors to seek their views on the future of Kura River waters. The meeting will take place at the Delux Hotel, in Ganja, Azerbaijan.

The EUWI+ project is working with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azebaijan Republic to start developing the River Basin Management Plan for the Kura upstream Mingechavir dam in line with the European standards. The plan will describe the environmental objectives for the river and the measures to achieve them. As established by the European water framework directive, information and involvement of the public has to be ensured in key phases of development of the river basin management plan. The river basin ( 15315 km2 ) has to provide drinking water for more than 1,628 million people, for agriculture and industirial production playing an important role in the basin’s economy, for hydro power generation (clean energy), and to ensure water environment protection standards for the welfare of the population.

This first consultation forum - gathering 40 local public and private water actors including government authorities, basin organisations, residential and business water users, the scientific community, NGOs, journalists  and experts - seeks their views on the main challenges to guarantee water quality, share water resources, secure drinking water, reduce pollution and ensure people’s health.

This one-day meeting gives participants the opportunity to critically assess the progress of the river basin plan, identify dissensus/consensus and the main challenges ahead. This dialogue is very important because the results will be taken into account for the next steps to develop the river basin plan, to enrich objectives, mesures and actions to achieve them.

The technical documents submitted to the consultation will be published on the Ministry website and open for comments from the general public. Citizens can give their opinion by e-mail.

A second consultation phase will be organised on the draft river basin management plan in 2020.