The Environmental Protection of International River Basins is a EU (European Union) funded project with the overall aim of improving water quality in the trans-boundary river basins of the wider Black Sea region and Belarus.
An objective of the project is to improve the availability and quality of water data in the region, including groundwater data, in order to create River Basin Management Plans.
In the Caucasus countries of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, there are larger groundwater data gaps to be filled. To help resolve this, in April 2013, joint groundwater field surveys and training sessions were conducted in these countries.
Three groundwater experts and water management experts from each country were trained to use Solinst groundwater monitoring equipment, as well as other monitoring and sampling instruments. Their groundwater surveys and training included equipment programming, reading, and instrument calibration. During field measurements and sample collection (sample preservation and transportation), it was ensured that proper QA/QC procedures were followed.
As part of the surveys, groundwater wells were purged with submersible pumps, and then sampled; sampling included the use of Solinst Bailers. Groundwater levels in the wells were measured using Solinst Model 101 Water Level Meters. Water quality parameters (pH, temperature, conductivity, TDS, and DO) were also measured at the monitoring wells.
Pilot River Basins were selected for the Project in order to create River Basin Management Plans for each. In each of these Pilot Basins, Levelogger Edge dataloggers were preprogrammed and installed in monitoring wells. The local groundwater experts were trained to program the Leveloggers using PC Software, as well as read the data and re-program the Leveloggers in the field using a Leveloader Gold.
The local groundwater experts benefited greatly from the opportunity to use Solinst equipment in the field. The practical training that they received will allow them to continue monitoring the groundwater wells, and fill in the groundwater data gaps on their own. They are now set with field sampling procedures, as well as health and safety and QA/QC protocols.
The groundwater data gained will provide baseline data to include in the development of River Basin Management Plans, and continued monitoring will help ensure the Management Plans are implemented and maintained.
For more information on the Environmental Protection of International River Basins Project, please visit: http://blacksea-riverbasins.net/