On May 17, 2019, a meeting of the Basin Council of the Middle Dnipro River was held in Cherkasy

Representatives of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine (NECU) took part in the on-site meeting of the Basin Council of the average Dnipro River (hereafter called the Council), which took place in Cherkasy on May 17, 2019.

The Council considered the issues of current activity (development of a management plan for the district of the middle Dniro basin, ways to solve the environmental problems of the Ross river, exchange of experience), as well as the issue of Ukraine’s compliance with international obligations under the Protocol “On Water and Health” to the Convention on protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes, 1992, the EU Nitrate Directive (Directive 91/676 / EC of 21 on the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources, December 1991).

The head of the NECU Climate Change Department, Heorhiy Veremiychyk, presented a presentation on the international project of the E40 Waterway Gdansk – Kherson (E40 – code number). The idea of this project is to create a water transport artery connecting the Polish port of Gdansk with the port of the Ukrainian city of Kherson. The presentation highlights potential threats to the environment and drinking water supply systems in Kyiv and other Dnipro River cities, as well as serious criticism of the project’s economic performance.

The listeners’ attention was drawn to the fact that the feasibility study of the E40 project is based on the erroneous assumption that, in the case of funds, they are provided from public sources (for example, EU funds), it is unnecessary to consider these costs in terms of the effectiveness of investments from the public viewpoint in the calculation of total costs. Investment and operating costs associated with the creation and maintenance of hydrological infrastructure, including those in Belarus and Ukraine, were not taken into account.

Forecast of freight flows is ungrounded. Only planned work on attraction of transit cargo traffic on the river route E40.

It was emphasized that the project of the water E40 Gdansk-Kherson has not yet been developed, it has not passed the procedure for assessing the environmental impact, its transboundary impact has not been assessed. At the same time, in Ukraine, decisions are taken to build fragments of the infrastructure of the E40 river route, as if its project has already been approved by all stakeholders and is supported by the public.

But, considering that the E40 project has a transboundary nature, affecting the interests of all Ukrainian citizens, it should be considered at the national level with broad public participation.

It should also be borne in mind that global climate change reduces the supply of fresh water, that Polissya is an invaluable treasury of drinking water supplies, shelves millions of birds and other wildlife, so preserving it in its natural state is the best present for future generations.

The speaker called on the Basin Council to monitor the development of the situation surrounding the E40 waterway Project in order to achieve compliance with all formal procedures for its consideration at the national level. The council supported this proposal.

Dmitry Ivanov, the head of the Kaniv subdivision of NECU, drew the attention of those present to the problem of the construction of the Kaniv Hydro Storage Power Plant and proposed to include its consideration at the next meeting of the Council.

Construction of Kaniv HSPP is provided for by the “Hydropower Development Program for the period up to 2026”. NECU has analyzed this Program in detail and strives to suspend its implementation and carry out a strategic environmental assessment.

Kaniv Mountains (also called Kaniv dislocations) are the world’s geological monument, created by the glacier and are unstable. The construction and operation of such an object as the HPPS will necessarily lead to an anthropogenic catastrophe in the future, according to geologists.

The participants of the meeting were unanimous that the environmental aspects of water management should be fully taken into account.

The Basin Council of the middle Dnieper operates in the territory of Kyiv City;  Kyiv, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Cherkasy, Poltava, Sumy, Kirovograd, Vinnitsa and Dnipro regions.