Towards Sediment Management in the Sava River Basin

 

Marina Babić Mladenović1, Damir Bekić2, Samo Grošelj3, Matjaž Mikoš4, Tarik Kupusović5, Dijana Oskoruš6, Slobodan Petković1

 

 

 

 

1 Jaroslav Černi Institute for the Development of Water Resources, Jaroslava Černog 80, 11226 Pinosava, Belgrade, Serbia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2 University of Zagreb, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Fra Andrije Kačića-Miošića 26, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

3 International Sava River Basin Commission, Branimir Centar, Kneza Branimira 29/II, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

4 University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, Jamova cesta 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

5 Hydro-Engineering Institute of Civil Engineering Faculty, Stjepana Tomića 1, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

6 Meteorological and Hydrological Service of the Republic of Croatia (Zagreb-HR), Gric 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

Abstract

The Sava River Basin, a major sub-basin of the Danube River Basin in South-East Europe, is shared by five countries and hosts a population of roughly 8.5 million. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia are Parties to the Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin (FASRB). Its implementation body is the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), which is responsible for the development of joint plans and programs for, inter alia, sustainable water management. The ISRBC has developed a Protocol on Sediment Management to the FASRB, which affirms the need for efficient cooperation among the Parties and promotes sustainable sediment management (SSM) solutions. To respond to the above-mentioned needs, a project has been launched upon the initiative of UNESCO’s Venice Office, together with the UNESCO International Sediment Initiative (ISI), the European Sediment Network (SedNet) and the ISRBC. The main objective of this project is to develop and validate practical guidance on how to achieve a SSM plan on the river-basin scale, using the Sava River Basin as a showcase. Another step towards the SSM plan was the preparation of a sediment balance for the main course of the Sava River (BALSES), as a basis for sustainable transboundary sediment and water management.

Keywords: Sava, sediment, sediment balance, environment, monitoring, management

 

 

Introduction

Sediment is solid material that is or can be transported by or deposited from water. It is an essential, integral and dynamic part of river basins. Sediment forms a variety of habitats. Many aquatic species live in the sediment and it creates favorable conditions for high biodiversity.

If human activities influence sediment quantity and/or quality, sediment management - organized and coordinated sediment-related activities undertaken in accordance with certain policies, plans and programs to achieve the main social, economic and environmental objectives - should be introduced.

Since sediment is an integral part of the river basin system, building a link between sediment management and river basin management according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) is an important step forward. However, there are no examples of full integration of sediment management into river basin management. Some attempts have been made, but sediment issues were not included in the river basin management plans in the 1st cycle.

In 2002, one global and one European initiative were introduced to bring sediment management to a higher level:

  • The International Sediment Initiative (ISI) of UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme (IHP) was established to promote sustainable sediment management (SSM) in the context of sustainable water resources development at global scale. ISI aims to strengthen awareness about the importance of erosion and sediment processes and their impacts, promote exchange of information on relevant data, monitoring and management methods, and foster cooperation in erosion and sediment-related research and education (www.irtces.org/isi).
  • The European Sediment Network (SedNet) started as a Thematic Network with funding from the European Commission DG-Research under the 5th RTD Framework Programme. Presently, SedNet is a leading European network aimed at incorporating sediment issues and knowledge into European strategies to support the achievement of good environmental status and to develop new tools for sediment management. SedNet focuses on all sediment quality and quantity issues at a river basin scale, ranging from freshwater to estuarine and marine sediments (www.sednet.org).

These initiatives resulted in a number of case studies, and continued with the preparation of guidance material to help sediment managers and river basin managers understand the links between sediment and water. The preparation of sediment management plans and the inclusion of sediment management issues in the second round of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs), where relevant and beneficial to do so, are promoted (see, e.g., Owens, 2007).