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Anti-flood early warning and prevention systems in Georgia: special focus on Kabali and Duruji rivers

The project was implemented in the Kakheti region, in the Kabali and Durudzi river basin and in 12 other problematic rivers of eastern Georgia. The aim was to work out how to deal with flash floods, i.e. short, quick floods which due to the mountainous character of the country occur very often and are a very big problem.

The project beneficiaries are specialists of the Hydrology Department of the National Environmental Agency and the Crisis Management Department of Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs who are responsible for responding to floods when they occur, the people of the town of Kvareli (12,000 residents), the residents of Giorgeti, Uzuntala, and Baisubani on the Kabali river (3,000 residents), and the residents of floodplains of the 12 to 14 analysed rivers (about 30,000 people).

Anti-flood early warning and prevention systems in Georgia: special focus on Kabali and Duruji rivers

The project was implemented from 1 April to 31 December 2014 (Module 1) and from 1 January to 30 October 2015 (Module 2). Both modules were carried out in the Kakheti region in Georgia, in the Kabali and Durudzi river basins and on 12 other problematic rivers of eastern Georgia.

The project led to a better understanding of the behaviour of rivers where flash floods occur, benefitting specialists from central institutions dealing with flood issues (the Department of Crisis Situations Management in Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and the hydrology department of the National Environmental Agency, which is engaged in studying and forecasting precipitation). The project also made it possible, with the help of satellite modelling and knowledge and experience of Polish experts, to test and analyse possible flood scenarios on real examples of 12 of the most problematic rivers in this category. The project was also designed to teach Georgian specialists how to take measurements of river parameters for satellite modelling of their behaviour.

The project was coordinated by the Polish Centre for International Aid Foundation in cooperation with Georgian partners: International Association Civitas Georgica, the National Environmental Agency and the Department of Crisis Situations Management of Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. On the Polish side, project actions were supported by the Crisis Information Centre of the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) and experts from the Regional Water Management Authority from Krakow.

Anti-flood early warning and prevention systems in Georgia: special focus on Kabali and Duruji rivers

The concept of responding to flooding of the Durudzi and Kabali rivers was developed, crisis response plans were updated and flood zones and evacuation zones were identified.

Over two years, training sessions and information actions were carried out for local governments in the field of flood response in risk areas, for representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, for rescuers, and for pupils in 11 schools in risk zones.

Measuring stations were set up on the Durudzi and Kabali rivers and in the headquarters of the National Environmental Agency in Tbilisi. These were incorporated into the national system of monitoring the state of rivers within the NEA. Polish experts took part in the creation of maps of flood risk for successive rivers of the Kakheti region and in taking measurements of the geological profiles on Durudzi and Kabali with the use of the purchased measuring equipment.