George DUCA, academician

PhD in chemistry, university professor
president of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova

Republic of Moldova
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Speech given by acad. Gheorghe Duca on the 16th of May 2013 during the High-level event co-organised by the European Commission and the Government of the Slovak Republic on the Scientific Support to the Danube Strategy

Your Excellency Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission,

Your Excellency Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic

Honorable Director-General Ristori and Deputy Director Sucha,

Distinguished European Commission officials and of the Government of the Slovak Republic,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak in regard to the development of the EU Danube Region Strategy in various scientific areas. I would like to address the issues of water quality and sustainable environmental protection.

Recently, in the 4th meeting of the Danube Academies, I have spoken about current problems of water quality and water management in Moldova and pressing problems that affect more than 3 million people, from Romania and Moldova, which are living near the Prut river basin.

Problems which are on the agenda of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova and on the agenda of the consortium of the Danube Academies, in common with the Joint Research Center, which provide scientific support for the implementation of the Danube Region Strategy.

The attention for the identified problems has been confirmed by the agreement of the parties to hold the next meeting of Danube Academies in Chisinau, Moldova. An event that I invite you to attend.

Following these developments, the Academy of Sciences of Moldova has taken action in strengthening capacities on water management in the region.

As a fresh example, in collaboration with the Regional Development Agency "North-East" of Romania a common transboundrary strategy will be drafted for the Siret-Prut river basin and Prut-Dniester river basin. This strategy will be based on the sustainable environmental protection principles established in the EU Danube Strategy and will include joint innovative solutions for water supply, wastewater recycling, decentralized water supply and proficient irrigation systems based on patented solutions from Moldova and Romania.

The waters in the region affect 800.000 (eight hundred thousand) people which constitutes 22,4 % (twenty two point four percent) of the total population of the Republic of Moldova living in the limits of the Prut river basin combined with approximately 2 million people living in this area from Romania.

The most pressing problem for the region is that of the water quality of Prut.

Main causes of poor water quality are pollution from cities and villages, lack of funds for reconstruction of performant water purification stations, poor management of water resources, inefficient and non-innovative solutions and technologies for water treatment.

Moldova has accumulated sufficient experience on water quality, during 2009-2012, in the State Program "Research and management on water quality".

Research in the program has shown that 13.2% of total wells are polluted by anthropogenic sources and surpass 5 times the Maximum Allowable Concentration (CMA).

Analysis of research data on sanitary and epidemiological parameters of Prut waters have shown strong curative qualities. Due to anthropogenic pollution water quality is diminishing, a large portion of this water can be used as safe drinking water, mineral water or in curative purposes.

Furthermore, the meadows and lakes from the lower part of the river, which are constantly filled with water can be used for intensive agriculture and for growth of aquatic products, an area particularly unexplored by the Republic of Moldova in regard to the river.

The problem of Prut is a common problem of Moldova, Romania and Ukraine, because the river flows from the Carpathians into the Black Sea. This problem requires scientific support.

Having in mind the problem at hand and the European context of the Danube Strategy, the research community of Moldova is proposing the establishment of a knowledge hub which will offer innovative and practical solutions to water quality problems - Prut Water Quality Centre.

The Centre will offer a joint research platform in the area of environmental protection. It will provide a range of analytical services, consultancy and chemical, biological, microbiological and ecological research of water. These findings will serve as basis for decision and policy makers. Also, it will offer the possibility to have real-time data and awareness on water quality and management of river basin, key elements in flood and drought risk prevention.

I encourage you to support and join our initiative for a knowledge hub with practical applications for the Prut and consequently the Danube Region.

Thank you for the attention!

Acad. Prof. Gheorghe Duca

Bratislava, 16th of May 2013

Presentation