A draft new Water Law was presented at the Second Steering Committee meeting of the Georgian National Policy Dialogue (NPD) on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), held in Tbilisi on 30 May 2013. The new Water Law has been drafted by an interministerial working group, supported by UNECE.
Discussion on the principles of the draft law was the key item on the agenda of the second Steering Committee meeting. The ambitious new law is in line with principles of IWRM and the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. It introduces the river basin approach to water resources management, permitting and licensing for water use and discharge and clarifies the roles of the different State agencies involved in the management of the water resources. In the draft law, special attention is paid to ensuring access to safe water and the comprehensive monitoring of water quality, which should have a direct, positive impact on public health in the long run.
Consultations with stakeholders on the draft law will next be held in order to get their feedback. The new Water Law is expected to enter into force as soon as early 2014, bringing with it a wide range of fundamental changes to water management in Georgia. To accommodate these wide-ranging changes, transitional periods will be established before certain provisions can be fully implemented.
Transboundary water cooperation was also discussed at the Steering Committee meeting, in particular the results of the recent bilateral meeting between Georgia and Azerbaijan on the management of the shared water resources of the Kura River Basin. Representatives of different donors and international projects also gave detailed overviews about their ongoing activities in the water sector.
Note for Editors:
NPDs on IWRM and Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) Component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. UNECE is the strategic partner for support to the policy dialogue processes on IWRM and it has been funding the work of the Water Law Working Group.
NPDs are under way in the following countries of the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.
More information is available at: http://www.unece.org/env/water/npd
Mr. Peep Mardiste
EU Water Initiative (EUWI) National Policy Dialogues
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05
Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged.