On February 13, 2018, the State Service of Geology and Subsoil of Ukraine hosted a meeting with EUWI+ groundwater experts from the Environment Agency Austria, with active participation by the state enterprise ‘Geoinform of Ukraine’. Mr Oleg Kirilyuk, the Acting Chairman of the State Service, assured that the organisation is ready to cooperate with EU partners in the framework of the project "European Union Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership Countries", and that it fully shares and supports the project objectives of helping to develop a management plan for the Dnipro river basin.
Senior management and technical experts of both Ukrainian organisations and the EUWI+ groundwater experts then discussed how the project will help Ukraine improve the monitoring of groundwater quality and quantity and manage groundwater resources in line with the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), as required by the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. It was agreed that the focus will first be on identifying relevant aquifers and delineating groundwater bodies in the whole Dnipro basin in order to establish the solid basis which is necessary to take the following steps. These will include a characterisation of the groundwater bodies and a review of the existing groundwater monitoring network. They will further include recommendations for principles for network optimisation towards WFD requirements. The experts of the Ukrainian organisations will be trained on the job in order to build up their capacity and enable them to assume their roles and responsibilities in Ukraine’s other river basins and in future basin management planning cycles.
Mr Andreas Scheidleder, EUWI+ project expert for groundwater from the Environment Agency Austria, highlighted the EU's willingness to share experience with Ukraine. The project facilitates this sharing – and at a later stage combines it with equipment support for monitoring and laboratories – in order to help the Ukrainian institutions until 2020 in meeting the country’s Association Agreement obligations. Effective management of water resources is thus becoming an active and important sphere of cooperation of the European Union with Ukraine.