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Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!
Bringing neighbours closer
Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!
Home ProjectsLLI-533 Joint management of Latvian – Lithuanian transboundary river and lake water bodies (TRANSWAT)
LLI-533 Joint management of Latvian – Lithuanian transboundary river and lake water bodies (TRANSWAT)
01.10.2020 - 30.09.2022
Project ERDF Financing: € 598 395.66
Project call: 3rd call
Achievement of good ecological and chemical status of water are main objectives of EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Implementation of more effective measures in water bodies is the way to meet these objectives and improve water quality. As water cannot be divided by human drawn boundaries such as country borders, management of shared water bodies must be a joint effort.
The aim of TRANSWAT project is to ensure joint assessment and management of trans-boundary river and lake water bodies which hydromorphological and/or ecological quality pose a risk for not meeting WFD’s requirements.
Three trans-boundary river basins (Venta, Lielupe and part of Daugava/Dauguva) are covered by this Program area where ecological status of many river and lake water bodies is below “good”. Moreover, some river bodies are designated as “heavily modified” due to substantially altered natural conditions – the result of flow regime regulation by Hydro Power Plants (HPPs) cascades. Right now mainly in Latvia lakes located on cross-border area between Latvia and Lithuania are delineated as water bodies. Consequently, water quality monitoring and pressure analysis of these lakes is carried out primarily on Latvian side.
Project will address two main components: (1) assessment and management of rivers affected by HPP’s cascades and (2) estimation and management of trans-boundary lakes ecological status and ecosystem health.
First component will cover evaluation of ecological flow (E-flow) in trans-boundary rivers regulated by HPPs cascades within Venta River Basin and proposal of amendment to national water legislation for mitigation of impacts created by such river flow regulation. During the field surveys hydomorphological and fish data will be collected for E-flow modelling needs in Lithuania (Varduva River, 5 HPPs) and Latvia (Losis River, 2 HPPs and Ciecere River, 3 HPPs). After, the most popular model for E-flow calculations in line with WFD’s requirements (MesoHABSIM) will be used. TRANSWAT project will use previously developed harmonized approach for E-flow modeling from Interreg Latvia-Lithuania project “ECOFLOW”. As well the project will perform E-flow calculations in web-based modelling platform which will be created by recently started LIFE GoodWater IP project. Based on E-flow assessment results, the modeling of HPP operations in cascade will be done using HEC-RAS model to ensure the ecological regime downstream of each HPP and sustainable water recourse management in general. Finally, an amendment to national water legislation for mitigation of impacts created by river flow regulation will be proposed based on developed results and recommendations.
Second component will assess ecological status of five trans-boundary lakes located in Lielupe and Daugava/Dauguva river basins. Three lakes are a part of NATURA 2000 network. New data will be gathered during water quality and quantity monitoring, and detailed biological and fish surveys. Then, combining new data with in depth analysis of lake catchments (such as assessment of surface-groundwater interaction and source apportionment modeling) the ecological status of five lakes will be evaluated. As well new joint methodology for lake ecosystem health assessment will be developed and then tested in pilot area. Finally, harmonized Latvia-Lithuania monitoring program (MP) and Program of Measures (PoM) will be established to ensure sustainability of project results and further improvement of water quality.
In May, TRANSWAT project experts conducted two expeditions
On May 5-7th TRANSWAT project experts from Lithuanian Energy Institute (V. Akstinas, D. Jakimavičius and S. Nazarenko) went on an expedition during which hydrological measurements of the tributaries of Lake Ilgė (Rokiškis district) were carried out in order to measure the water circulation and the balance between the inflow and outflow of water. To do this, during the expedition, the flow of inlet and outlet streams is measured and the water surface level of the lake is recorded.
On May 10-14th project experts (V. Akstinas, D. Jakimavičius, D. Meilutytė-Lukauskienė and S. Nazarenko) went on another expedition during which scientists measured the flow in different sections of the Varduvė and Kvistė rivers and measured the bathymetry of four HPP ponds.
TRANSWAT expedition of Lithuanian Energy Institutes’ Hydrology Laboratory scientists
During the TRANSWAT project expedition, which is taking place these days, hydrological measurements of the tributaries of Lake Ilgė (Rokiškis district) are carried out in order to measure the water circulation and the balance between the inflow and outflow of water. To do this, during the expedition, the flow of inlet and outlet streams is measured and the water surface level of the lake is recorded.
LEI Hydrology Laboratory has purchased a drone for aerial mapping work
Hydromorphological research can be performed in a variety of ways. Assessment of river sections can also be performed with modern aerial vehicles – drones. Therefore, in order to optimize and accelerate hydromorphological research in the Varduva River, within the framework of the TRANSWAT project, a drone was purchased for aerial mapping works. On March 8-9, TRANSWAT project experts Vytautas Akstinas and Darius Jakimavičius participated in a two-day training session, during which they were introduced to the basics of drone control, flight planning and processing of collected visual material, as well as tested the acquired theoretical knowledge in practice.
Researchers from LEI Hydrology Laboratory started the spring with an expedition
Researchers from Lithuanian Energy Institute’s Hydrology Laboratory started the spring with an expedition of the TRANSWAT project. On March 1-3, 2021, the project experts Diana Meilutytė-Lukauskienė, Vytautas Akstinas and Serhii Nazarenko went on an expedition, during which the spring flood was measured in different sections of the Varduva and Kviste rivers.
First Habitat Surveys on Ciecere and Losis rivers in Latvia
The first Habitat survey of four planned on Losis River has been carried out during 19-21 October 2020 Hydrological measurements and river habitats mapping were conducted downstream Grantini and Lejnieki HPPs operated in cascade regime. In accordance with work plan it has to be the survey in presence of minimum flow in the low flow period. However during the survey downstream Grantini HPP water was released through HPP turbines. As a result habitats were mapped for average water discharge. In a next day measurements and habitat mapping have been repeated downstream Grantini HPP for low flow conditions.
On Ciecere River the Habitat survey has been carried out 11-13 November 2020. Hydrological measurements and river habitats mapping were conducted in three river stretches downstream Ciecere, Dzirnavnieki and Pakuli HPPs. It was first Habitat survey in presence of minimum water discharge in low flow period.
The Initial Survey has been carried out on Ciecere and Losis rivers in order to select measurements sites in 15 October 2020.
As a result 3 places have been selected on Ciecere River for water level and water discharge measurements: upstream Ciecere HPP nearby lake Ciecere, between Ciecere and Dzirnavnieki HPPs in Saldus town and downstream Dzirnavnieki HPP. On Losis River has been selected 3 places as well: upstream Grantini HPP, between Grantini and Lejnieki HPPs and downstream Lejnieki HPP. Water level data loggers will be install in all above mentioned places.
TRANSWAT project’s researchers ended the year with another expedition
The hydrological measurements of the TRANSWAT project take place both in winter and at night!
On December 14-16, 2020, the project experts (Diana Meilutytė-Lukauskienė, Vytautas Akstinas and Serhii Nazarenko) from LEI went on an expedition, during which the flow rates in different sections of the Varduva River and the Kviste River were measured.
Project experts from LEI surveyed Varduva and Kvistė rivers
During 16-20th of November, project experts (Vytautas Akstinas, Darius Jakimavičius, Diana Meilutytė-Lukauskienė, and Serhii Nazarenko) participated in the field survey. The water level loggers were installed in different segments of the Varduva and Kvistė rivers.
Additionally, the barologgers were used in order to compensate the fluctuations of atmospheric pressure in the water level measurements. The multi-annual characteristics of the Varduva River runoff were observed only in the period 1956-1973, therefore these works are necessary for the determination of current runoff characteristics of this river since the Varduva River is strongly affected by the cascades of five hydropower plants. Accordingly, it is important to evaluate how the runoff characteristics had changed under the influence of mentioned hydropower plants.
Project experts from LEI surveyed Ilgė, Laukesa, Šalna, Kampiniškiai, and Skirnas lakes
On November 4-5, 2020, the first expedition to the selected lakes was organised. The project experts (Jūratė Kriaučiūnienė, Diana Šarauskienė, Diana Meilutytė-Lukauskienė, Vytautas Akstinas, Aldona Jurgelėnaitė, and Darius Jakimavičius) from Lithuanian Energy Institute surveyed Ilgė, Laukesa, Šalna, Kampiniškiai, and Skirnas lakes. During this expedition, river outflow and inflow from/to the lakes were evaluated, and the most significant tributaries were selected for more detailed investigation. The Laukesa River that flows through Lake Laukesa and forms the natural border between Lithuania and Latvia has been chosen for the close field examination of its hydrological regime.
LEI scientists organised the first expedition of TRANSWAT project
On October 26-27, 2020, the first expedition (survey of a case study) was organised. The Interreg project’s Nr. LLI-533 “Joint management of Latvian – Lithuanian transboundary river and lake water bodies” (TRANSWAT) experts (Jūratė Kriaučiūnienė, Diana Šarauskienė, Diana Meilutytė-Lukauskienė, Vytautas Akstinas, Aldona Jurgelėnaitė, and Serhii Nazarenko) from the Lithuanian Energy Institute together with the project expert Tomas Virbickas (Nature Research Center) visited different reaches of the Varduva River.
This river was selected to investigate because of its vulnerability due to intensive anthropogenic activities in the river catchment. As many as five small hydropower plants are built and form a cascading regulation in the Varduva River. To implement one of the TRANSWAT project objectives (to assess and sustainably manage the water resources of rivers regulated by hydroelectric cascades), the experts identified representative reaches of the river for hydrological, hydromorphological, and ecological surveys during further project activities.