During the three days of field work, from 28 to 30 October, the research was completed under the pilot action of visual assessment of ecological status of the watercourse in the basin of Drina “Value Drina” on the territory of the municipalities of Mali Zvornik and Ljubovija.
Pilot project has been funded under the program CRESSIDA (Capacity building of local communities for sustainable development in international watersheds such as the Drini and Drina river watersheds) and supported by the US Agency for Environmental (US EPA), conducted by REC (Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe). The main task of pilot project is to apply method SVAP 2 (Stream visual Assessment Protocol) on the selected sites in the River Drina watershed.
Four sites (two for each choosen streams) are selected in the municipalities of Mali Zvornik and Ljubovija. Methodological approach was applied from July to October 2016, in order to test the application of this approach to identify the condition and status of the watercourse. The methodology developed by a working group for water resources in the Natural Resources Conservation Service within the United States Department of Agriculture and experts from University of Georgia (USA), applied to small and large rivers in the United States, Canada and significantly altered the water body in Italy.
The purpose of testing the possibilities of using this method in our country is to increase the role of local communities in the management of surface waters and to open the possibility for the use of simple tools (methodology) to determine the status of watercourses over which they have jurisdiction of local governments in the basin of the river Drina.
Preliminary results of the field work in researched pilot sites show that degraded streams in terms of distortion of indigenous vegetation – time and stability of the coastal side of the flow, and to suffer degradation due to agricultural activities in the immediate riparian areas, remains of historical small dumps along the coast, in the upper reaches of watercourses, where prevalent natural vegetation according to the indicator species (eg. Plecoptera), which are indicators of clean water rich in oxygen, ecological status of water can be classified as water oligo to beta meso saprobic water I-II class.
In the field work participated professional team composed of hydrogeologists, biologists, geographers, GIS expert, environmentalists and environmental protection analysts, as well as the young future professionals in the field of applied ecology and ecoremediation. Also, which was one of the objectives, the project was supported by public companies responsible for water at the local level, participation and education representatives and of course the very municipal governments, which have entrusted the implementation of the project to NGOs.
Further activities on the project are the systematization of data and modification of the original proposal of the questionnaire according to the legislation in Serbia and middle Podrinje ecoregion, forming a GIS database, according to the needs of local communities for monitoring, reporting, comparison and further work, drafting the final report in the form of publications and, promotion of action with short documentary film and video clips.
The project results and initiatives that this method can be applied to the entire course of the Drina river basin will be subject of the final conference of the project.