Stakeholder cooperation through Water Users Partnership
Solution to which problem
High anthropogenic pressure on various small water bodies (located in one municipality or region) and not efficient water management due to insufficient cooperation and connection between users of the same water object.
Guryevka river is the right inflow of the Pregolya river. It flows through farmlands, and the city Gurievsk is also located in the basin of this small river. These factors make Guryevka river the significant source of nutrient load to the Baltic Sea.
The main problems which were determined in the Guryevka river basin:
- Lack of common view on the ways to further develop and use river basin
- Low efficiency of investments and decisions making in water management
All these factors were significant obstacle in the aspiration for achieving good environmental conditions in the Guryevsk Municipality and reducing nutrients incoming to the Baltic Sea.
Water Users Partnership (WUP) is a new method of implementing measures through local and regional stakeholders cooperation. The process of cooperation involves several steps:
- Defining the main problem, such as quality of water in water body.
- Ensuring support from local authority
- Defining main stakeholders and legal background for the partnership
- Inviting all possible stakeholders to join the partnership
- Establishing permanent secretariat, which will maintain WUP operation
- Organizing WUP-meetings permanently
The WUP concept involves stakeholders that either influence or are influenced by water in a given catchment area. The objective of the partnership is to gather local knowledge and expertise. Furthermore, the WUPs implement concrete actions and innovative measures that combat negative impacts from anthropogenic activities. WUP provides an opportunity to establish efficient cooperation mechanisms between industrial companies and water utilities, land users and public authorities, and to organise decision making process in a mutually beneficial manner.
First implementation of WUP in Russia was established in Gurievsk Municipality. The Head of the Commission for social affairs (which is one of the Deputy Council commissions) chairs the WUP. Regular WUP meetings serve as a discussion platform where all water management issues can be raised. WUP constantly looks forward to enhancement of its membership and encourages different parties to join.
First WUP in Russia was organized during implementation of Water Nets-RU project 01.04.2017 – 30.09.2018.
Results of WUP are raising awareness of conditions in catchment area of Guryevka River, creation of strict cooperation between water users, authorities, WWTP and society as well.
The main positive practical changes to which WUP contributed are: reconstruction of wastewater treatment plant of the industry located in the basin of the river, reconstruction of the sewage in the cafe and sewerage system of the city park on the Guryevka river shore, cleaning of drainage system by farmers, the channel of the river was included in the national target program for further cleaning.
Furthermore, after project’s closure the WUP has continued their activity and joined the bigger Interreg project WATERDRIVE – Water driven rural development in the Baltic Sea Region. The main object is to create wetland type water treatment plant on Guryevka river, based on the data and network taken from the WaterNets-Ru project.
Guryevsky WUP proved such format of local cooperation as a good opportunity for the most efficient decision on water management planning.