The European Water Policy and the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) aim at ensuring clean waters. HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) has appointed eutrophication and hazardous substances as key issues requiring action. In achieving this, the roles of local actors and citizens will be crucial. The local and regional levels are very important for the implementation of practical measures aiming at better waters. MOMENT will - based on existing experiences from EU, HELCOM, the research society, national authorities and other - develop local and regional methods for effective management of water with special focus on decreased outlets of nutrients and hazardous substances from small and diffuse sources.
The project will test, demonstrate and develop knowledge about how to transform existing attainments and general environmental awareness from theory and general objectives to practical measures – developing an effective local work, including political involvement on the different levels.
MOMENT has been developed as a part of the Euroregion Baltic (ERB) co-operation. It aims at improved management with water and local/regional preparedness for implementation of the WFD and BSAP. The main idea is to test and develop a model for modern water management through Water Users Partnerships (WUP), i.e. for river basin based management with strong participation from local stakeholders.
Six smaller rivers in LT, PL and SE will be used as pilot areas. Each pilot area will establish a Water Users Partnership which will develop a local programme of measures for decreased outlets of nutrients and hazardous substances, and start the implementation. The pilot areas will also implement 8 selected innovative pilot measures, aiming at decreasing the outlets or combat the negative effect of the pollution. These pilot measures deal with land use (farming and forestry), waste water treatment from single houses, storm water treatment and better knowledge/communication.
The results from the pilot measures will, among else, be used as input to the WUPs and local programmes of measures.MOMENT experiences will be exchanged throughout the whole project and results will be spread all over the South Baltic Area (SBA). Final outputs will be an improved and more effective water management, stronger networks and a higher political appreciation of the cross-border co-operation.
Regional politicians and experts will compile and analyse the pilot area experiences and apply them on a more general and transnational level, i.e. in the perspective of ERB. Concrete conclusions and recommendations for the future water cooperation, as well as a political statement, will be presented. The results can be used for joint information and lobbying action towards EU and national authorities on environmental needs in SBA. The six pilot areas and 8 pilot measures are presented on maps in ATT 8.
The overall implementation of the project activities has gone according to plan, even though there has been some smaller delays. All of MOMENTs Water Users Partnerships have all been established and the local program of measures have all been finalized and implemention of suggested measures have started. The process of establishing WUPs has taken longer time than first predicted and the work to assemble stakeholders with different priorities has in many cases been a big challenge. The external evaluation carried out by Ramboll management showed that the WUPs have in many ways been a success and that the WUP method developed by the MOMENT project could also be used within other areas besides water management. Ramboll expressed a very positive view of the WUPs in general and meant that they could be further developed and spread to more regions around the Baltic Sea.
Many of the pilot area measures have had delays, both ones that should have and ones that could not have been predicted. However, the concrete pilot measures have now been implemented and the work that remains focuses mainly on evaluating the work that has already been implemented to show the overall impact that they have had on the Baltic Sea environmental state. The main reasons for delays have been demanding public procurement processes and required permissions that were unforeseen in the beginning of the project.
The response for MOMENT from media and the general public has been very positive, which among else can be seen in the many articles and interviews that so far have been taken. It has also been very positive to see that some of the partners have started to exchange knowledge and experiences outside the project requirements.