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Study of hydraulic modelling against floods-1st stage – preparation to implementation of EU directive No 2007/60EC

Georgian specialists of the institution competent for analysis of rivers and floods, the National Environmental Agency (NEA) in Tbilisi, do not have adequate skills for hydrological and hydraulic modelling of rivers. These skills are difficult to master – complete training of an employee takes 3 to 5 years and is a continuous process. Modelling conducted with the use of various data and modern software is an essential skill for determining floodplains of rivers marked by flood risk. Designation of flood zones, in turn, is a prerequisite for fulfilling part of the requirements of the European Union Flood Directive No. 2007/60EC, incorporated into the provisions of the Association Agreement with the EU that was signed by Georgia in June 2014.

The great inadequacy of Georgian hydrology is also associated with a lack of meteorological data, including data on precipitation, due to the residual presence of measuring stations and data after the collapse of the USSR. Actions to supplement measuring equipment were included in the process of restoration of the network of measuring stations in Georgia’s main river basins.

The project’s implementation was a continuation of actions carried out in 2014 with funds from the Polish Aid developmental cooperation programme.

Study of hydraulic modelling against floods-1st stage – preparation to implementation of EU directive No 2007/60EC

Implementation of the project took place from 1 March to 31 December 2015 in Tbilisi and in the Lagodekhiskhevi, Didkhevi and Stori river basins in northeastern Georgia.

The project was a response to the inability to professionally determine flood risk by specialists of the National Environmental Agency (NEA), the main Georgian institution responsible for anticipating natural disasters. During a series of training sessions that NEA staff underwent in Tbilisi under the guidance of Polish specialists, all preparatory stages and target modelling of three Georgian rivers (first degree of study) were carried out. The institution’s capacity was improved with the purchase of modern software, measuring equipment and measuring stations in an effort to supplement the deficits in this equipment in the region under analysis.

The implementing party was the Polish Centre for International Aid Foundation and the local partners were the International Association Civitas Georgica and the National Environmental Agency.

The project beneficiary was the National Environmental Agency and, in the longer perspective, the residents of villages that experience floods.

Study of hydraulic modelling against floods-1st stage – preparation to implementation of EU directive No 2007/60EC

Under the project, a group of specialists of the National Environmental Agency learned how to carry out both the preparatory and main stages of modelling simple rivers (first degree). In the future, they will be able to prepare such models independently or following consultations for various likelihoods of flooding, as required by the EU Flood Directive No. 2007/60EC. Students of Tbilisi State University became acquainted with the reasoning behind the modelling and the results of the work of the training participants.

A presentation was made on the Flood Directive and the Polish path toward implementation thereof for the staff of institutions responsible for flood prevention and flood response. Participants learned about the implementation of the directive in Poland. The Deputy Director of the Hydrometeorology Department of the National Environmental Agency prepared an internal document listing steps, along with comments about the current situation of this institution. The directive in the Georgian language version was turned over to the management.

Specialist water speedometers for obtaining measurements on fast-flowing rivers were purchased for the NEA. Rain stations were installed in the Didkhevi, Lagodekhiskhevi and Stori river basins, thanks to which automatic data has been flowing to NEA resources every three hours since August to September 2015 (depending on the locality). The institution was also supplied with a licence for the specialist modelling software MIKE-11.