Francisco Martínez-Capel, research professor in the Environmental Science department of the Universitat Politècnica de València at Campus Gandia, is taking part in the project titled “Improving Environmental Flow Methodology and Preparatory Work for Implementation”. The aim of the project is to prepare a methodology to determine the environmental flows in the Republic of Georgia, and to train staff from various ministries and other entities involved in the management of water and rivers.
Martínez-Capel is advising and training key personnel that will perform these studies, as well as the actors in charge of its implementation, thanks to the project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), within the framework of its “Government for Growth (G4G )” program. The project is coordinated by Georgia’s Environmental Outlook (GEO) organization and is made up by four international experts, including the professor from Gandia
This project demonstrates the interest of Georgia in applying the European Union’s principles of water management, since the EU Water Framework Directive and guidelines derived from it serve as the essential framework. The correct application of the methods and the monitoring of environmental flows must ensure that no rivers remain dry due to profit-making activities, that water is respected as a public good and that adequate flows are maintained to preserve the remarkable aquatic biodiversity.
In the training phase, Professor Martínez-Capel along with another international expert (R. Tharme) taught a workshop on methods and tools for defining and managing environmental flows, aimed at representatives and technical staff of the Ministry of Protection and Management of Natural Resources, the Environmental Development Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture, the State University of Tbilisi, the Ilia State University, consultants and NGOs in Georgia. The attendees belonged to different areas such as hydrology, river morphology and ecology. The workshop included two days of fieldwork in the Caucasus rivers, where participants were able to take actual measurements of the channel and flow.
At the workshop, the scientist from the UPV in Gandia shared his experience in defining environmental flows taking into account the needs of the ecosystems, and he also explained the strong points and problems in compliance for Spain.