WATER RESOURCES use

in   agriculture

in   Bulgaria

 

 

1.  Existing  Institutions

 

A number of State Institutions are involved in the development and management of the water resources sector in Bulgaria. These are described briefly in the following sections.

 

 

1.1       Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

 

The MAF conducts Government policy in the area of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. In 1998, the functions and structure of the MAF were modified in accordance with the new Government policy objectives. The main purpose of the changes was to accelerate land restitution and privatisation in agriculture and forestry. The most recent restructuring of the ministry took place at the end of 1999 in accordance with the Law for State Administration, which was adopted in mid-1999. The MAF has 11 specialised directorates and the Directorate for Structural Policy is responsible for the regional offices, which are located in the 28 administrative regions of the country. In addition, some of the functions of the MAF are undertaken by institutions, which are either under the supervision of the Ministry or acting on its behalf.

 

 

1.2       Ministry of Environment and Water

 

The Ministry of Environment and Water (MEW) responsible for allocation of the water resources among different users.  Through the Water Directorate and its two divisions, MEW leads the State policy of the general water management by allocating monthly the water quantity from the large reservoirs in the country to satisfy different demands and needs, including irrigation. The MEW also issues licences and permits for water use and water discharges of used and treated water from and to the rivers and to the reservoirs. Furthermore, MEW is responsible for the implementation of the basin management policy in accordance with the provisions of the Water Act.

 

 

 

 

1.3       Irrigation Systems Company

 

The ISC was formed in 1993 as a joint stock company with a 100% State participation and registered under the Trade Law. The sole proprietor of ISC is the MAF.  It was a successor of the Irrigation Management Authority, which was a division of MAF. The ISC is formally responsible for the management, operation and maintenance of reservoirs, water-intakes, irrigation canals and pressure pipelines, and pumping stations for a total command area of 894,000 hectares based on data from 1989. In addition, it is also responsible for hydro-ameliorative infrastructure of national importance, including protective dikes along the Danube, river training, drainage systems with a total drainage area of 132,000 hectares. By the end of 2003, ISC had 3,289 employees working at the Central Office in Sofia and in 22 Branches throughout the country. The sources of funding of the ISC are the State budget, sale of water for irrigation and other purposes, hydro-ameliorative charges and other activities unrelated to irrigation, such as agriculture, fish-breeding, hotel keeping.

 

It is expected that the existing ISC will be restructured into 10 to 12 regional water companies and that the role of the ISC Head Office in Sofia will be taken over by the newly established EAH.

 

 

1.4       Executive Agency for Hydro-Melioration

 

According to Ordinance No. 203 (SG 107/28.12.2000), the EAH was formally established from the 1st January 2001 under the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. According to the "Structural Regulations of the EAH (SG 53/12.06.2001) defining its statutes, it appears that the Agency will take over the role of the ISC Head Office as it will be involved in (the financing of) development, rehabilitation and O&M of irrigation, drainage and flood protection structures by using funds from the Government budget, revenues from sale of water and additional activities, credits from national and international financial institutions, grants and other sources.

 

According to the same statutes, the Irrigation Association Unit formed under the O&M Department would have the following functions:

 

        Management and coordination of the establishment of WUAs as well as the transfer of irrigation management and legal ownership of irrigation and drainage infrastructure;

 

        Approval of WUA Statutes and registration of WUAs under the new Irrigation Association Act (2001);

 

        Review and approval of annual O&M plans prepared by the WUAs;

 

        Financial audit of WUAs and physical inspection of transferred irrigation and drainage facilities; and

 

        Preparation and maintenance of WUA register as part of the MAF’s information system.

 

It seems that the EAH will be responsible for the supervision of the restructured ISC Branches, the allocation of funds for the development and/or rehabilitation of irrigation systems, and the development of WUAs.

 

 

1.5       Supreme Consultative Water Council and Basin Directorates

 

National Water Board: According to Decree No. 199 of 13 October 1992 on the Adoption of Regulations concerning the Structure and Activities of the National Water Board, the National Water Board, through its head office and six regional offices, would be responsible for pursuing Government policies with respect to the use of water resources in conformity with the sustainable development requirements. However, following the enactment of the new Water Law in 1999, the process for restructuring of the National Water Board into a new institutional set up has begun as described below.

 

Supreme Consultative Water Council: According to Article 9 of the new Water Law (1999), the management of water resources at national level shall be the exclusive right of the Council of Ministers through the MEW. A Supreme Consultative Water Council comprising representatives from various ministries, State agencies, municipalities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) shall assist the MEW. One of the main functions of the Supreme Consultative Council will be the review of the National Water Economic Plan (NWEP) and the River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) before they are submitted for approval to the MEW and the Council of Ministers respectively.

 

The State policy related to the exploitation, construction, reconstruction and modernisation of water economic facilities shall be implemented by:

 

        Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works for water supply and sewage systems and facilities for protection of settlements from the harmful impact of water;

 

        MAF for hydro-melioration systems and flood protection facilities for areas outside settlements;

 

        State Agency for Power Engineering and Energy Resources for hydro-energy systems and objects; and

 

        MEW for facilities for exploitation of mineral water.

 

Basin Directorates and Basin Councils: The management of water resources at basin level within one or several watersheds shall be implemented by Basin Water Management Bodies. The Basin Directorates shall be established within two years after the Water Law enters into force (27 January 2000). It is envisaged that four Basin Directorates will be established for the Danube, Black Sea, East Aegean Sea and West Aegean Sea regions respectively. Until the establishment of the Basin Directorates, their functions with the exemption of the issue of water permits shall be executed by one of the Regional Inspectorates for Environment and Water Resources within the respective river basins. The Basin Directorates shall be responsible for basin water management in the regions by:

 

        Establishing the boundaries of the water resources and water objects which are public State property together with the cadastre services of the municipalities;

 

        Organizing the preparation of management plans for the respective basin;

 

        Issuing permits as specified in the Water Law;

 

        Implementing the activity of the National Water Monitoring System at basin level;

 

        Keeping and maintaining a cadastre of water resources and water economic systems and a register of issued permits;

 

        Collecting fees for the permits issued;

 

        Controlling the observation of the conditions and requirements of the issued permits and the conditions of granted concessions as regulated by the Water Law;

 

        Carrying out the supervision over the control and measurement devices of the hydro-technical installations and systems for monitoring their safety;

 

        Carrying out supervision over the state of water economic systems and installations and issuing instructions and controlling their observation;

 

        Managing the water resources that are exclusive State property and for which concessions have not been granted; and

 

        Managing the installations for underground water resources, which are public State property.

 

The Basin Council shall be a public consultative commission for supporting the activities of the Basin Directorate and it shall consist of representatives of the State and municipal administration, water users, environmental organisations and scientific organisations. One of the functions of the Basin Council will be the review of the RBMP.

 

 

1.6       Non-Government Organizations

 

1.6.1   Water Users Associations

 

Following the failed attempt to register farmers as a WUA under the Cooperative Law (1991) in 1992, the first “irrigation cooperative” was successfully registered in December 1994 after having obtained the approval and recommendation from the National Water Board. By the end of 2002, 212 WUAs were formally registered and most of them are now in a procedure of reregistering.

 

 

1.6.2   Agricultural Cooperatives

 

Following the dissolution of the Labour Production Cooperatives (TKSZ), farmers have formed new cooperatives under the Cooperative Law (1991) for several reasons, including tax benefits. In general, the following two types of cooperatives have been established:

 

        The former State cooperatives (TKSZ) have been re-registered under the Cooperative Law as private commercial farms. They should be regarded as employee-owned, well-managed large farms with more than 200 hectares of arable land. In general, these cooperatives are financially strong and they have good connections with the Liquidation Councils and banks. Reportedly, these cooperatives have even established their own bank to facilitate inter-cooperative loans; and

 

        The more liberal cooperatives (associations of private farmers), which are often smaller than the re-registered formal State cooperatives and their leaders are less experienced and lack the important connections with Liquidation Councils and banks. These cooperatives have limited access to financial resources and farm machinery. Most of them are struggling to survive.

 

Both cooperatives are responsible for the management of any on-farm irrigation and drainage facilities within their area of jurisdiction.

 

 

1.6.3   Union of Water Users

 

The Union of Water Users was established in 1992 with the help of the ISC in order to promote WUA establishment and render legal, technical and consultant assistance to water users and protect their rights. The Union of Water Users has been registered under the Law for Persons and Families. It has a Central Managing Board with a headquarter in Sofia and Regional Coordination Offices attached to the ISC Branch offices. Besides funds paid by the ISC for each established WUA (Leva 6/ha) and sponsorship from certain firms and agricultural cooperatives, all WUAs as member-organisations (agricultural cooperatives) should pay membership fees according to the size of the WUA and the region where the WUA is located. Due to the unwillingness among the WUAs as member-organisations, the Union of Water Users only have sufficient funds to cover the office expenses and the staff works without pay and without transport facilities. Some Regional Offices have acquired legal independence by obtaining a court registration and they carry out activities in their respective regions.

 

Under a contract with ISC, the Union of Water Users established 27 WUAs between 1994 and the beginning of 1995. Only 14 WUAs met the requirements set by ISC, which were all agricultural cooperatives.

 

 

2          Legal Framework

 

2.1       Relevant Laws

 

The promulgation of laws related to water and water syndicates in 1919 marked the beginning of a State programme for rational use of water resources and flood protection of farm land. The construction and operation of large dams and drainage systems became the priority of the State but all secondary hydro-ameliorative systems had to be undertaken by legally registered, financially autonomous Water Syndicates. The statutes of these Water Syndicates were approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, which also controlled all activities carried out by these syndicates. Membership was obligatory for all the landowners within the area of jurisdiction of each Water Syndicate. In 1946, 95 Water Syndicates existed covering a total area of 36,000 hectares.

 

Since 1989, a large number of new laws concerning the agricultural sector in general and the irrigation sub-sector in particular have been adopted in Bulgaria. The most relevant laws are briefly presented in this section.

 

According to the new Constitution of 1991, water resources belong to the State and they shall be utilised and managed to the benefit of its citizens and society in general.

 

The Water Act (SG 67/27.07.1999) is the key legal act that regulates water management and ensures sustainable agricultural and water resource development. It is in force since 27 January 2000 and repeals the Water Law that was in force since 1969. According to the Water Act, water sites, systems and facilities may be State, municipal and private ownership depending on the nature and significance of the site concerned. The Water Act presents in details the cases for limiting of water sites ownership and envisages the possibility of a compulsory expropriation according to the rules of Law for State Ownership. The terms ‘irrigation systems’ and ‘hydro-ameliorative systems’ are part of the more general term ‘water economic systems’, which is legally defined in Article 5 of the Water Law. Property of liquidated agricultural cooperatives has become public municipal property. The ISC retains full rights over the irrigation systems and facilities included in its capital at the moment the Water Law entered into force. According to Article 91, the owners of irrigation systems and structures may only transfer to the WUAs the right of use for a period of 10 years, which may not be transmitted to a third party. The nature of the right of use is close to that under Article 56 of the State Property Law and Article 39 of the Municipal Property Law, whereby the real right of use of real estate that is private State property is also restricted to 10 years. The Water Act also envisages the creation of a public water cadastre with the data of ownership and state of water sites, existing water systems and equipment that will be kept at the basin directions and generalized in the MEW.

 

The Law for Agricultural Land Ownership and Land Use (SG 17/1.03.1991, last amended SG 133/11.11.1998) provides the conditions for land ownership and usage as well as owner rights and obligations. Owners (physical entities, State, Municipality, legal entities) can freely choose the usage of agricultural land according to its functions. The Act prohibits the destruction of irrigation facilities located on agricultural land without the preliminary permission of the MAF. By virtue of Article 10b, land occupied by dams, small dams, main and distribution canals, major water inlets and other structures is declared State property. Structures belonging to the internal canal network are not an obstacle to restoration of ownership.

 

 

The Farm Land Protection Act (SG 35/96) provides for protection from pollution, farmland rehabilitation and improvement of soil fertility, and laying down certain conditions for a change in use.

 

2.2       Legislation on Water Users Associations

 

Under the Law on Water Syndicates passed in 1919, the Ministry of Agriculture was allowed to grant the right of use of public water to Water Syndicates. The construction of dams and main irrigation and drainage systems was the responsibility of the State, but minor hydraulic works and works of local importance were the responsibility of these Water Syndicates. The Water Syndicates were established for various purposes, such as distribution of irrigation water; electricity generation; construction of dams, canals and other hydraulic works; O&M of dams, canals and other hydraulic works; river training; watershed reforestation; drainage; and land reclamation. The statutes of the Water Syndicates were approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and their functioning was controlled through the Water Department of the same ministry. Membership of the Water Syndicate was compulsory for whoever had an interest in or was affected by the activities of the Water Syndicate. The Water Syndicates had juridical personality and enjoyed financial autonomy. They were empowered to expropriate assets if necessary for the achievement of their goals. Nevertheless, irrigation developed at a slow pace with only 35,700 hectares by 1944.

 

Following the nationalization and collectivization of the agricultural sector in the 1940s and 1950s, the Labor Production Cooperatives (TKZS) were established and they became responsible for the management of the irrigation and drainage systems at the intake points of their territories. The development of irrigation advanced rapidly under the Socialist Government as one million hectares (21% of all arable land) was reached in 1970 and 1.23 million hectares (29% of all arable land) in 1989. The extent to which irrigation facilities were constructed by the State for cooperatives or by cooperatives themselves remains unclear. However, it has led to some confusion in the process of transfer of assets to new ownership by the Liquidation Councils, which have been established in 1992 to dissolve the cooperatives and distribute assets to the former owners. The restitution process has resulted in some damage to irrigation systems as former owners are liable for payments for improvements made to the land. There has also been loss of irrigation equipment from schemes as the State reclaimed the use of the equipment on restitution to private landowners.

 

During the 1990s, water users were organised in WUAs to facilitate the transfer of irrigation management from the ISC (State) to the farming communities. The establishment of WUAs is allowed in the Water Law (SG 67/27.7.1999) for one or more purposes enumerated in Article 88, par. 2 of the Law, including water supply and sanitation, irrigation, hydraulic power production, drainage, maintenance and exploitation of water economic systems or separate water basins, and fisheries. As there was not a special law for the registration of these newly established WUAs, they were either registered under the Cooperatives Law or Trade Law. Under Article 92 of the Water Law, the WUAs have a specific legal status, which give them certain privileges. However, WUAs registered under the Trade Law maintain the status of trader and they carry out their activities to obtain profit and they are subordinated to the legal regime for traders.

 

Another solution for the registration of WUAs would be to ask Municipalities to provide a legal framework for the WUAs by adopting the WUA as a “Municipal Organisation”. This would not mean that Municipalities will be directly involved in O&M of irrigation systems, but that the Municipal Council is liable for the economic undertakings of the WUA formed by the farmers. There are no reports that any WUA has made use of this legal option.

 

During the implementation of the irrigation management transfer (IMT) programme in the 1990s, it became obvious that the development of new legislation for the establishment of non-profit making WUAs as bodies under public law would be required. This resulted in the preparation of the draft Irrigation Association Act in 2000, which was subsequently adopted by the National Assembly at the end of March 2001 and promulgated in April 2001. A copy of the new Irrigation Association Act can be found in Appendix B. The main aspects of the new Irrigation Association Act are listed below:

 

        The association shall be a voluntary organization of natural and legal persons, who own or use agricultural land served by a singly irrigation/drainage system or by distinct hydrological parts of a larger system and who have an interest or are affected by the activities of the association;

 

        The main aims of the association are the efficient and ecologically-sound use of water and land as well as the protection of agricultural land for the benefit of the farmers within its territory through the management of the existing irrigation and drainage infrastructure;

 

        The association shall (only) perform the following activities: O&M and rehabilitation of transferred irrigation and drainage infrastructure; construction of new irrigation, drainage and associated facilities; implementation of land improvement activities; and fish-farming and waterfowl breeding;

 

        The association shall prepare Statutes containing description of area and transferred facilities; rules and procedures for conducting meetings, voting, decisions-making, elections, membership, dismissal, conflict resolution; as well as types of fees and procedures for assessment and collection;

 

        The MAF through a supervisory body shall exercise the legal, financial and technical supervision of the association and provide the associations with all relevant information and maintain a register;

 

        Among other rights, association members are entitled to preferential water charges and other service fees and the General Meeting shall determine the water charges and other service fees for non-members;

 

        If the association has more than 200 members, it may have a General Meeting comprising representatives;

 

        The property of the association shall consist of ownership and use rights of irrigation and drainage infrastructure, other material rights, income from its activities, loans, interests on bank deposits, contributions from outside institutions (Government, municipalities, cooperatives, legal and natural persons), other rights and obligations. The association shall not have the right to establish limited use rights and mortgage on its property nor to lease it out or to give the use rights to other persons without a preliminary approval from the supervisory body;

 

        The association shall have the right to financial support from the Government for the rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage infrastructure after a social and economic assessment. The association shall contribute at least 20% of the costs for the rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage facilities, which could be realised through non-monetary contributions;

 

        The financial management of the association shall be conducted in accordance with the Accountancy Act;

 

        The terms and conditions for the transfer of irrigation and drainage infrastructure to the association shall be determined through a bilateral protocol under the control of the supervisory body. The relations between the association and the water management bodies (i.e. ISC/EAH) shall be established in accordance with the Water Act;

 

        The MAF shall issue an ordinance specifying the rules and conditions for contracting the supply of irrigation water and approve the general conditions of the water supply contracts to the association and to the individual water users;

 

        The price of irrigation water shall be determined on the basis of the technical characteristics of the irrigation system and reasonable, specified expenditures;

 

        Regarding the transfer of user right and ownership of irrigation and drainage infrastructure on the territory of the association, the following terms and conditions are formulated:

 

        On the request from the MAF, the Municipality shall transfer to the association within three months the possession of reservoirs designed for irrigation and any irrigation and drainage infrastructure within the association’s territory if no contracts have been concluded for the use of these facilities. Any contract for the use of these irrigation and drainage facilities shall be terminated within five years;

 

        The association shall acquire the right to use, free of charge, all irrigation and drainage infrastructure within its territory that are included in the assets of trade associations with State participation or in which the State is the sole proprietor of the capital; and

 

        The association, which uses the irrigation and drainage infrastructure within its territory, shall acquire the right of ownership, free of charge, within a five year period following the transfer of the right to use these facilities through a decision of the Council of Ministers based on a proposal from the MAF.

 

 

In principle, the WUA could only be established if at least 51% of all landowners/water users decide to become members. At present, however, large portion of land within the command areas of irrigation systems are either not cultivated or irrigated as their owner/operators lack the resources and/or knowledge to do so. Consequently, the establishment of WUAs in accordance with the provisions of the new Irrigation Association Act will not be easy as it  will be rather difficult to mobilise at least 51% of the landowners/water users as new members of the planned WUA.

 

 

2.3       Environmental Legislation

 

To ensure an environmentally-friendly development approach, the Bulgarian Government has adopted a large amount of  environmental legislation in the 1990s..

 

 

3          Water Resources

3.1       Introduction

3.1.1   Location and Topography

Bulgaria is situated in southeastern Europe and occupies some 110,910 km2 of land in the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula with 99.7% of the territory is land and 0.3% (360 km2) are rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

 

Bulgaria extends from the western shore of the Black Sea to Macedonia and Serbia in the west. In the north, the Danube River forms the greater part of Bulgaria's common boundary with Romania. Greece and European Turkey lie to the south and southeast of Bulgaria. The total length of the land boundaries is 1,808 km, including with Greece (494 km), Republic of Macedonia (148 km), Romania (608 km), Serbia (318 km) and Turkey (240 km). The coastline of the Black Sea is 354 km.

 

The topography of Bulgaria includes 31.5% plain (less than 200 metres in altitude), 40.9% plateau (200 to 600 metres) and 27.6% mountain (more than 600 metres above sea level). The relief is mostly mountains with lowlands in the north and southeast. The landscape is highly varied with vast fertile lowlands, rolling landscape, valleys, hilly lands and high mountains. The hilly lands and mountains cover about 41% of the territory of the country.

 

The country is divided roughly into three parallel east-west zones: the Danubian table-land in the north, the Stara Planina (or Balkan) Mountains in the centre, and the Thracian Plain and the Rhodope and Pirin Mountains in the south and southwest. The highest mountain in the Balkan peninsula is Rila mountain on the west side of the Rhodope Range with a height of 2,925 metres above sea level.

 

3.1.2   Climate

The climate of Bulgaria can be described as moderate-continental for most regions in the country. The results from the atmospheric circulation effect of the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean cyclones as well as the general atmospheric circulation from the west to the east and the relief of the country. The weather varies considerably from year to year, as do the several climatic sub-zones within the country. The average multi-annual minimum temperature for January varies from -0.5 0C on the South Black Sea Coast to -14 0C on the Mussala peak in Rila mountain. The average summer temperature is about 24 0C but in the mountains temperatures are about 5 0C. Annual precipitation averages 630 mm.

 

The distribution of the average annual precipitation depends on the altitude, slopes and atmospheric circulation. In the northeastern part of Bulgaria the average annual precipitation is less than 450 mm but in the mountains it can be more than 1,000 mm. For 10 to 15 years there has been an observed trend of decreasing annual precipitation and the climate has been going towards drought.

 

There has been a comprehensive network of climatic and rainfall stations in Bulgaria. The Research Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology is responsible for maintaining the records relating to rainfall and climate.

A map showing the distribution of the mean annual rainfall in Bulgaria is shown in Figure C.1 in Appendix C. Figure 5.1 shows the mean rainfall minus evaporation in Bulgaria for the period June to September, which is the critical period for irrigated agriculture. This figure gives a general indication of the geographical locations where irrigation is a fundamental requirement for reliable agricultural production.

 

3.1.3   Land Use

 

 

The land use pattern of the country is summarised in Table 3.1.

Table 3.1: Summary of Land Use in Republic of Bulgaria

Description

Area (ha)

Percentage of

Total Area

Total Area

11,091,000

100

Land Area

11,055,000

99.7

Arable Land and Permanent Crops

4,310,000

38.9

Permanent Meadows and Pastures

1,811,000

16.3

Forest and Woodland

3,877,000

35.0

Others

1,057,000

9.5

 

3.1.4   Soils

The soil map for the country, indicating the main soil group boundaries, is shown in Figure C.2 in Appendix C. A brief summary of the main soil types is given in Table 3.2.

 

Table 3.2: Main Characteristics of Soil Types

No.

Soil Type Groups

Main Characteristics

Clay %

Humos %

Ph

FC mm

Area %

1

Chernozems

40-70

3-4

> 6.5

310-330

20

2

Chernozem-smolnitza

50-80

3–4.5

> 6.5

430-450

6

3

Gray foresting

60-70

3.5-4.5

> 6.5

350-380

15

4

Brown foresting

20-30

1-2

< 6.5

200-250

16

5

Brown foresting

50-70

2-3

> 6.5

350-370

24

6

Brown foresting

40-60

1-2

> 6.5

300-320

5

3.2       River Basin Water Resources

3.2.1   River Basins

The Republic of Bulgaria contains 14 major river systems, which are shown in Figure 3.2. In the past the management of the water resources was carried out in relation to administrative regional boundaries. In accordance with the new Water Law, which is in power from January 2000, the country has been divided into four river management basins based on the outlet location of the discharging rivers. The boundaries of the river management basins are shown in Figure 3.2. For the purpose of this report, where possible, data has been summarised based on these geographical regions.

The 14 main river systems are summarized in Table 3.3.

Table 3.3: River Systems by River Basin Management Region

River Basin Management Region

Danube Region

Black Sea Region

East Aegean Region

West Aegean Region

Ogosta, Skat, Nishava, Erma , Visochka, Topolovets, Voynishka, Vidbol, Archar, Skomlya, Lom, Tsibritsa

Provadiiska, Batova, Ekrenska, Devnya

Maritsa

Struma

Iskar

Kamchia

Tundja

Mesta, Dospatska

Vit

Fandakliiska, Panairdere, Dvoynitsa, Vaya, Drashtela, Hadjiiska, Aheloy, Azmak, Dermendere, Kurbardere, Aitoska, Sakurdere, Tchukarska, Rusokastrenska, Sredetska, Fakiiska, Izworska, Marinka, Otmanli, Ropotamo, Dyavolska, Karaagach, Lisovodere, Veleka and Rezovska

Arda, Byala, Aterinska

 

Osam

 

 

 

Yantra

 

 

 

Russenski Lom

 

 

 

 

 

3.2.2   Hydrological Data

In the past, there were more than 700 hydrometric flow measuring stations being operated on the Bulgarian river systems and the larger irrigation main canals. The regional distribution of these stations was Danube region 45%; Black Sea region 8%; East Aegean Sea region 32%; West Aegean Sea region 15%.

 

At the present time, approximately 70 % of these flow measuring stations are operational, some of which are equipped with automatic level recorders. The Research Institute of Meteorolgy and Hydrology is currently responsible for operating the network and recording and maintaining the hydrological database.

 

3.2.3   Water Availability

A major water resources assessment study was carried out by the relevant institutions and private consultants during the period 1999-2000 under the MEW. The results from this study have been used as the basis for preparing the overview of national and regional water availability in this report.

 

The total average flow volumes for the respective river systems during the period 1961-1998 have been summarised by river basin region in Table 3.4 based on flow at the river mouth or the State boundaries. The figures do not take into account the Dobrudja rivers, which have insufficient flow to reach the Danube river, the Black Sea or the Bulgarian-Rumanian border, nor the border rivers Danube and Timok. However, it includes river flow, which crosses the international boundaries and originates from the land of other countries.

 

Table 3.4: Annual Average Flow Volumes by Basins 1961 - 1998.

River  Basin Region

Total Flow

Rivers Originating within Bulgaria

Rivers Originating from Neighbouring Territories

Flow volumes

106m3

Catchment area (km2  )

Flow volumes

106m3

Catchment area ( km2 )

Flow volumes

106m3

Catchment area (km2  )

Danube

6,017

34,470

5,996

34,366

21

104

 

Black Sea

2,244

14,547

1,977

13,695

267

852

 

East Aegean

7,184

34,821

7,184

34,821

0,0

0,0

 

West Aegean

3,988

14,198

3,799

12,426

189

1,772

 

Total

19,433

98,036

18,956

95,308

477

2,728

 

Source - General Water Use Plans for the River Basin Management - MEW, 2000

The average total annual flow volume during this period (1961-1998) is 19,433 million m3. This is 6.1% less than the estimated average flow volume of 20,624 billion m3 for the period of 1935-1984. For the period 1984-1994 the average total annual flow volume is 11,916 million m3, which clearly highlights the growing concern over the extended drought period that has been occurring in the last 10 to 15 years. This concern is very topical at the present time in April 2001 when critically low water levels (typically 25 % less than average for the time of year) are being reported in the major river systems.

 

It can be seen that 97.5% of the country's water resources originate from river flow formed within the territory of the country. Only 2.5% of the flow is coming from other countries.

 

Tables 3.5 and 3.6 show for the respective basins the distribution of the monthly water flow volumes calculated for the time period 1961-1998 in million m3 and by percentage.

The high flows in the Black Sea and East Aegean Sea regions commence in December and peak in the period of March through to the end of May. In the Danube and West Aegean regions, the high river flows start in February-March and reaching a maximum in May and finishing in June.

 

The low flow is most present in the East Aegean Sea and Black Sea regions, where it starts in June and continues to November with the minimum in August and September.

 

Table 3.5: Average Monthly Flow Distribution (million m3) by River Basin Regions

 

River Basin Management  Region

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Total

Danube

390

512

775

957

965

555

442

259

220

226

299

397

5596

Black sea

226

294

323

288

201

118

63

52

56

69

109

179

1968

East Aegean

738

942

1022

943

862

552

304

213

183

256

420

750

7184

West Aegean

289

318

402

489

553

389

249

201

182

211

235

281

3799

Total

1,643

2,066

2,522

2677

2,581

1614

1059

725

641

762

1,063

1,607

18,956

 

 

 

Table 3.6: Monthly Average Flow Distribution (%) by River Basin Region

 

River Basin Management Region

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Danube

7

9

13

16

16

9

7

4

4

4

5

7

Black sea

11

15

16

15

10

6

3

3

3

4

6

9

East Aegean

10

13

14

13

12

8

4

3

3

4

6

10

West Aegean

8

8

11

13

15

10

7

5

5

6

6

7

Average

9

11

13

14

14

9

6

4

3

4

6

9

 

It is evident from these figures that the available flows in each basin are at their lowest in the critical period for irrigation from June to September.

3.2.4   Water Demands for Irrigation

Present Water Usage

Historic data for irrigation water and other use (industrial, drinking water, hydro-power, fisheries and environmental) is available from the Statistical Year book for the period 1991-1997 and ISC from 1997 - 2000. A summary of this data is presented in Figure 5.3, which indicates the general trends for irrigation water usage in the past ten years.

 

Figure 3.3: Chart Showing Historic Data for Irrigation Water Usage from 1991-2000

The general trend of declining irrigation water use from 1991 (1,212 million m3) to 1999 (91.7 million m3) is dramatic and reflects the rapid decline in irrigation activity and the abandoning of land for irrigation. The recent upturn in irrigation water supplied for the year 2000 (213.2 million m3) is a direct result MAF policy introduced in 2000 for subsidies to be given in relation to water charges paid by farmers for irrigation water supplied. The impact on reducing farmers cost for production has provided a significant increased incentive for farmers to irrigate.

 

It should be noted that the figures given above for volumes of water used for irrigation should be taken as indicative only. In most irrigation systems in Bulgaria there are few functioning measurement structures and facilities, so that accurate measurement of canal flows and irrigation quantities supplied to farmers is presently not possible.

 

Water Use (demands)

A general assessment of the annual water balance between total available flow and total water use (demands) has been made in a study General Water Use Plans for the River Basin Management, which was carried out by MEW. The demands have been based on projected irrigation, drinking water supplies and industrial use in the different river basin regions.

 

Critical factors used in this analysis include assumptions related to the anticipated abandoning of a substantial part of the previously constructed irrigation areas and the expected uptake of irrigation rehabilitation development. Irrigation is one of the largest water users, but only returns back to the river system a very small portion of the used water. Potential usable areas for irrigation (areas that could still be supplied by the systems) were estimated in 1998 to be some 535,000 ha (about 43%) of all the areas (1,237,000 ha) constructed up until 1989 (last Decision of the Council of Ministers 663/22.10.1999). It has been assumed that in the most optimistic scenario for irrigation development for the year 2010 that it will be possible to irrigate no more than 55.5% of the potential irrigable lands (i.e. a total of about 686,000 ha). The upper limit estimated for irrigation by the year 2020 is 65% of the irrigable lands, equivalent to an irrigated area of some 800,000 ha. This estimate takes account of the current economic situation and the status of the agricultural sector, including marketing opportunities.

 

For the purposes of an indicative water balance, comparison is made in Table 3.7 between the total annual available water resources and the forecast demands for irrigation of 535,000 ha based on an average assumed demand of 3,000 m3/ha for all irrigated land. Maximum drinking water supply demands have been taken, which are 23% more than the present level of demand.

Table 3.7: Assessment by River Basin of Available Water Resources and Demands

 

River Basin  Management Region

Available Water Resources

(Million m3)

Water use (demands)

(Million m3)

50 % reliability

75% reliability

90% reliability

Drinking water supply

Industrial water

Irrigation usable lands

Total

Danube

6,017

4,660

3,840

749

362

585

1,696

Black Sea

2,244

1,500

990

241

732

225

1,198

East Aegean Sea

7,184

5,900

4,570

363

660

663

1,686

West Aegean Sea

3,988

3,300

2,550

132

60

133

325

Total

19,433

15,550

12,440

1,485

1,814

1,606

4,905

 

The relative comparison between the availability and demands for each river basin management region is made in Table 5.8 by dividing the values in columns 1, 2 and 3 by the total of the demands in columns 4, 5 and 6.

 

 

Table 3.8: Relative Comparison between Availability and Demands

 

 

Water Management Region

50% reliability

75% reliability

90%reliability

Including all usable lands

Including all constructed areas

Including all usable lands

Including all constructed areas

Including all usable lands

Including all constructed areas

Danube

3,5

2,7

2,25

Black Sea

1,9

1,25

Deficit of 17%

East Aegean Sea

4,3

3,5

2,7

West Aegean Sea

12,2

10

7,8

Total

4

2,8

3,2

2,2

2,5

1,8

 

The overall conclusion from the study report was that the estimated total water demand for 2010 (including minimum river flow levels to satisfy environmental and ecological requirements) could be met from the available water resources with a level of reliability that exceeds the norms of all the different users. If in some river systems, this level of reliability was not high enough, this reflects the fact of limited construction of regulating facilities, rather than a lack of water. The largest surplus of water is in the West Aegean Sea Region, because in this region there are few large reservoir sites to regulate the flow. Accordingly in dry years, the water flow is not enough in the summer to ensure water for the irrigation fields. Three river systems, the Mesta and Struma, in West Aegean Sea Region and the Arda in the East Aegean Sea Region, could be considered as strategic reserves of water for the future, particularly as potential storage sites for regulating river flows have been identified in this region.

 

The following clarifying points are made with respect to the above conclusions:

 

Total water availability (assessed on an annual basis) exceeds the total projected demand. However, the analysis does assume that all the water in the river systems could be utilised. In practice, the analysis does not take into account the seasonal nature of the demands for irrigation which result in deficits occurring in many of the river systems in the country during the period June to September;

 

Good management at regional level is required to make effective use of the water resources. At the same time, additional dams may need to be constructed (where potential sites have been identified) in order to regulate and store the available resources to eliminate the anticipated dry season irrigation deficits;

 

More efficient use of water resources for irrigation, careful distribution and measurement of irrigation flows is required; and

 

A more detailed water balance study of irrigation schemes and their water demands should be carried out to identify for each river system and river basin the impact of demands in the June to September period. 

 

3.2.5   Groundwater

Bulgaria is divided into 17 hydro-geological regions with different lithologic status. In the study General Water Use Plans for the River Basin Management, an analysis has been prepared on the general characteristics of the natural, geological and hydro-geological conditions in the four river management regions. There is a general estimation of ground water resources in Bulgaria and the exploitable quantities of water is summarised in Table 5.9.

Table 3.9: Exploitable Groundwater Resources in Bulgaria

River Management Basin Region

Potential

Present

Stay

(m3/s)

(Mm3/year)

(m3/s)

(Mm3/year)

(m3/s)

(Mm3/year)

Danube

25+(65)*

788+(2050)*

13.5

426

11.5

363

Black sea

22

662

11.8

372

10.2

322

East Aegean

37

1167

19.7

621

17.5

552

West Aegean

9

284

5

158

4

126

Total

93+(65)*

2903 +(2050)*

50

1577

43.2

1363

Note: Quantities marked by ( )* are drawn from the Danube river terraces.

Water drawn from internal river terraces is not included in the estimation of these ground water resources.

 

4          Irrigation, Drainage, River Training and Flood Control Infrastructure

4.1       General

Most of the operation and maintenance activities for the irrigation and drainage systems in the country, as well as the river training and flood control infrastructure, are under control of the ISC, which has 22 branches in Bulgaria. Each of the four River Basin Management Regions has the following ISC Branches within their respective boundaries:

 

Danube River Region: Veliko Tarnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Montana, Pleven,  Russe, Sofia city, Sofia district

 

Black Sea Region: Bourgas, Varna, Targovishte, Shumen

 

East Aegean Sea Region: Pazardjik, Plovdiv, Assenogvgrad, Sliven,  Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Yambol

 

West Aegean Sea Region: Gotse Delchev, Dupinitsa, Pernik, Sandanski.

 

The irrigation sub-sector plays an important role in the Bulgarian agriculture since a comparatively high proportion (some 29%) of the cultivable land is under the command of irrigation systems, which in general cover the more fertile soils in the country. The total area of land under command of constructed irrigated systems reached a peak of about 1.2 million ha by 1989. In the last ten years irrigated areas have decreased and a large part of the irrigation system infrastructure has been destroyed. The usable area is now only about 600,000 ha and the actual annual irrigated area is currently only reported to be about 50,000 ha. Many of the irrigation systems and fields include storage reservoirs as part of the system for water supply. Some of the larger systems are supplied from specially constructed large dams.

 

Drainage systems were constructed mainly in the most intensive agricultural regions and covered an area of about 196,000 ha in 1998. The status of these systems is similar to the irrigation systems with much of the pumping equipment and channels in a poor or derelict state of repair. Little information exists about the detailed state of the infrastructure, although a basic inventory of the drainage systems exists.

 

Dikes and river training works have been constructed along several of the main Bulgarian rivers where there is a risk of flooding of large areas. Dikes have also been constructed along the Danube river. Most of these works are 40 to 50 years old and are in need of major maintenance and rehabilitation.

 

Dams provide an important element of the infrastructure. More than 80% of the water resources originate in the mountain areas of the country and 85% of the constructed reservoirs and dams are situated in these areas. In contrast, 90% of the water is used in the plains. There are 91 large reservoirs with storage capacity of more than 5 million m3 and a combined storage capacity of 7,036 million m3, amounting to 90.5 % of the total reservoir storage capacity in the country. There are another 1,949 small reservoirs with storage capacity of less than 5 million m3. About 50 of the large dams have been built as multi-annual reservoirs, but in recent years they have been working as seasonal (annual) storage primarily due to drought conditions. There are also a significant number of uncompleted dams in the country which have been planned for irrigation purposes to help combat the potential impact from drought.

 

 

4.2       Irrigation

6.2.1   Irrigation Systems

According to the last census in 2002, the total area of the constructed irrigation systems in Bulgaria was about 1,250 million ha, out of which about 925,000 ha were managed by ISC. The other 325,000 ha were predominantly made up of smaller systems that were constructed by the former co-operative farms without the participation of the State. These smaller systems typically have their own water sources, such as small dams, river intake structures, pump stations and distribution canals. The major irrigation systems in Bulgaria are shown in Figure 5.3.

Most of the systems have been designed to meet water requirements in 3 out of 4 years (75% probability) to theoretically allow 24 hour/day operation and to deliver 0.4 l/s/ha. At present, irrigation is largely confined to low cost, surface systems, which are reported to achieve irrigation efficiencies of between 10 and 30% due to their poor condition. Most of the pressurised systems have been abandoned. The condition of the lift and pumped schemes has deteriorated due to lack of maintenance and vandalism. Rehabilitation would be relatively expensive and O&M costs would be high. Many of the gravity systems are presently operational at a low level of efficiency, but there is considerable scope for improvement. Costs for rehabilitation would be comparatively low and subsequent O&M costs will be relatively less expensive.

Over the last few years there has been a programme for review of some of the irrigation areas with a view to abandoning some of the uneconomic and destroyed parts of systems. The O&M of some parts of the systems have already been transferred to WUAs. Some of the data collected for irrigation areas from ISC for year 2000 appear to be unreliable and there is an urgent need to prepare a detailed updated inventory of the systems. For the purposes of this report, reference is made to the ISC data available from 2000, which refer to a constructed irrigation area of some 743,710 ha. Within this total constructed area, a proportion of the land (estimated at about 70%) cannot presently be irrigated by the systems due to incomplete or destroyed infrastructure. According to the data collected from ISC, the actual areas irrigated in the period 1997 to 2000 are shown in Table 4.1

 

Table 4.1: Actual Irrigated Areas Reported by ISC for 1997 to 2000

 

No

River Basin

Management Region

Constructed

Irrigation Area

Real Irrigated Area by Years

Total

1997

1998

1999

2000

ha

%

ha

%

ha

%

ha

%

ha

%

1

Danube

275,563

37

5,865

2

5,167

2

2,530

1

10,218

4

2

Black Sea

100,688

14

3,130

3

3,581

4

1,867

2

4,677

5

3

East Aegean Sea

313,075

42

30,157

10

26,963

9

18,197

6

29,866

10

4

West Aegean Sea

54,384

7

5,551

10

4,108

8

2,378

4

4,589

8

 

Total

743,710

100

44,703

6

39,819

5

24,972

3

49,351

7

 

The upturn in irrigated areas reported for 2000 reflects the increased irrigation activity in the systems due to introduction of a policy for subsidising water charges payable by farmers to ISC. It should be noted that there is some concern among the Consultants team as to the reliability of the figures in the table, particularly the very low figure for 1999. However, the general picture of about 50,000 ha of land (less than 10% of the constructed areas) presently being used for irrigated agriculture conveys the poor state of the sub-sector. The data in the table show that the use of irrigation facilities in the Danube and Black Sea River Basin Regions is particularly low, corresponding directly with the fact that these regions also have the highest proportion of pumped systems (71% and 82% respectively).

 

4.2.2 Inventory of Infrastructure

A classification of the ISC irrigation infrastructure has been prepared in the following tables in Appendix D:

 

Table D.3: Classification of irrigation systems by type (pump/gravity), by size (ha), by usability and by river basin management region. Note: classification based on 2002 ISC data; and

 

Table D.4: General summary of infrastructure of constructed systems by irrigation system type (pump/gravity, canal/pipeline, furrow, sprinkler, drip). Summary based on 2002 ISC data.

 

There is a total of 254 irrigation systems managed by ISC, of which 134 systems are smaller than 1,000 ha, 101 systems have between 1,000 ha and 10,000 ha and 20 systems are larger than 10,000 ha. A summary classification of the information in Tables D.3 and Tables D.4 is presented in Table 6.2 and 6.3.

 

Table 4.2: Summary Classification of ISC Irrigation Systems by Infrastructure Type

 

1.1             No

River Basin

Management Region

Irrigation System Type

Constructed Irrigation Area

Open Canal

Pipeline

Total

Gravity

Pump

km

%

km

%

ha

%

ha

%

ha

%

1

Danube

2,385

38

3,622

39

275,563

37

80,137

29

195,426

71

2

Black Sea

399

6

3,515

38

100,688

14

17,992

18

82,696

82

3

East Aegean Sea

2,656

42

1,554

17

313,075

42

219,885

70

93,191

30

4

West Aegean

905

14

578

6

54,384

7

33,002

61

21,383

39

 

Total

6,345

100

9,269

100

743,710

100

351,016

47

392,695

53

 

Table 4.3: Summary Classification of ISC Irrigation Systems by Irrigation Technology Type

1.2             No

River Basin

Management Region

Constructed Irrigation Area

Constructed Irrigation Area by Technology

Total

Furrow

Sprinkler

Drip

ha

%

ha

%

ha

%

ha

%

1

Danube

275,563

37

157,749

57

117,373

43

441

0.2

2

Black Sea

100,688

14

12,635

13

87,445

87

608

0.6

3

East Aegean Sea

313,075

42

217,427

69

93,783

30

1,865

0.6

4

West Aegean

54,384

7

38,182

70

15,783

29

419

0.8

 

Total

743,710

100

425,993

57

314,385

42

3,332

0.5

 

 

 

4.3       Drainage

4.3.1 Drainage Systems

According to the 1998 census compiled by the former Research Institute for Irrigation, Drainage and Hydraulic Engineering, there are some 196,725 ha of drainage schemes in Bulgaria. In the information reported from ISC for 2000, however, the area of drainage schemes is only stated as 161,942 ha. Due to budgetary constraints for funding maintenance and the old state of some of the pumping equipment, it is estimated that approximately 60% of the area needs rehabilitation and modernization. At present, ISC carries out the maintenance and repairs to the drainage systems, but funds are inadequate to cope with the vast level of work required.

 

The surface soil types in the drainage schemes are mainly clayey-sandy and sandy-clayey soils with a high dusty fractions content. The major problem encountered in the drainage areas is high ground water table leading to potential waterlogging of land and prevention of crop production. A total of about 30,000 ha of the drainage schemes in Bulgaria is reported to be effected by salinity problems.

 

4.3.2 Inventory of Infrastructure

A classification of the ISC drainage system infrastructure has been prepared in the following tables in Appendix D:

 

Table D.5: Classification of drainage systems by type (pump/gravity/mixed), by size (ha), and by river basin management region. Note: classification based on ISC data for the year 2000; and

Table D.6: General summary of drainage system infrastructure (length of channels, pipelines), constructed areas and actual drained areas. Summary based on ISC 2000 data.

 

A total of 244 drainage systems are managed by ISC, of which 198 systems are smaller than 1,000 ha, 45 systems are between 1000ha and 10,000 ha, and only one system is larger than 10,000 ha.

 

A summary classification of the information in Tables D.5 and Tables D.6 is presented in Table 4.5.

 

Table 4.5: Summary Classification of ISC Drainage Systems

 

1.3             No

River Basin

Management Region

Drainage System Type

Constructed Drainage Area

Open Canal

Pipe-line

Total

Gravity

Pump

km

km

ha

%

ha

%

ha

%

1

Danube

970

830

54,101

34

9,739

18

44,362

82

2

Black Sea

428

2,547

21,012

13

14,214

68

6,798

32

3

East Aegean Sea

808

1,476

74,735

46

69,645

93

5,090

7

4

West Aegean

81

2,151

11,592

7

10,652

92

940

8

 

Total

2,286

7,004

161,440

100

104,250

65

57,190

35

 

 

There are approximately 62,000 ha of drained areas equipped with underground pipe drainage systems, which have been constructed after 1980. The length of the pipe drainage systems is unknown, but it is approximately estimated at about 20,000 km.

 

All buried drainage systems are constructed from PVC perforated drainage pipes with diameter of 65 to100 mm. The pipes are made in Bulgaria with German equipment and technology. There are only limited areas of drainage constructed with old style tile drains using ceramic or concrete pipes with a length of about 30 cm long. The top width of the main and secondary canal drainage cross sections typically varies from 3 to 8 metres.

 

Pipe drainage systems are constructed with or without filters according to soil and other conditions. Most of them have a non-woven polyestrous geotextile covering the pipes. There are no recent data available about the functioning and condition of the drainage filters in these systems. Studies are required to examine in more detail the performance of the existing drainage systems.

 

4.4       Flood Control and River Training Infrastructure

In the past a large number of protection dikes and river training works have been constructed in Bulgaria. The main purpose of these works has been to protect areas of land and population from the harmful impact of the water. They are considered as items of infrastructure of national importance. Some river training projects have been implemented in the past to dry out marsh-lands and swamps to allow the land to be developed for new areas of irrigated agriculture.

 

Limited information is available about the flood control and river training infrastructure in Bulgaria. ISC has the responsibility to maintain this infrastructure. According to the information obtained from ISC in March 2001, the classification of the infrastructure can be summarised as shown in Table 4.6.

 

Table 4.6: Summary of ISC River Training Infrastructure and Flood Protection Dikes

 

1.4             No

River Basin

Management Region

River Training

Protection Dikes

Total

Danube

Internal Rivers

km

%

km

%

km

%

km

%

1

Danube

718

25

n.a.

 

271

 

n.a.

 

2

Black Sea

711

25

n.a.

 

n.a.

 

n.a.

 

3

East Aegean Sea

1,105

39

n.a.

 

n.a.

 

n.a.

 

4

West Aegean

318

11

n.a.

 

n.a.

 

n.a.

 

 

Total

2,852

100

1,850

100

271

15

1,579

85

Source: ISC and Research Institute for Irrigation, Drainage and Hydraulic Engineering

The dikes along the Danube river have been constructed over a long period of time. Most of the 271 km of dikes are constructed along the western and central part of the river. The exact areas of land protected are unknown. Many of the other dikes are situated at the downstream end of the Danube tributaries. Others have been constructed on various river systems to protect localised areas from river flooding.

 

The maintenance of all parts of the river training infrastructure situated in the towns is the responsibility of the municipalities. Most dikes are well maintained and repaired on time. However, there are some stretches that urgently require rehabilitation. A recent bad example of this was the flood in 1996 in the municipality Sadovo plain when inadequate maintenance resulted in a failure of a dike causing substantial damage to land and property.

 

 

 

 

4.5       Dams and Associated Irrigation Network

 

4.5.1   General

 

Dams are an important element of the entire irrigation infrastructure. More than 80% of the water resources originate in the mountain areas of the country and 85% of the constructed reservoirs and dams are situated in these areas. In contrast, 90% of the water is used in the plains. There are 91 large reservoirs, which are defined as having storage capacity in excess of 5 million m3 and a combined storage capacity of 7,036 million m3, amounting to 90.5 % of the total storage in the country. These are important for development of the water economy and for meeting the water demands. In the official database of dams of the MEW, there are another 1,949 smaller dams with a storage capacity of less than 5 million m3 and the majority of them has a volume of less than 1 million m3. Their total combined storage capacity of 739 million m3 is relatively small, which means that they are generally of only local importance. However, there are more than 2,500 dams in the MAF list of dams due to inclusion of a large number of very small dams.

 

About 50 of the large dams have been built as multi-year reservoirs, but in recent years they have been working as seasonal (annual) storage because the water use has increased and the drought period over the last 10-12 years has prevented them from filling. The total live storage of all the constructed reservoirs is estimated as 6,600 million m3 and the ratio live/dead storage is 85:15.

 

Dams in Bulgaria are generally in better condition than most of the other infrastructure and their maintenance is comparatively well organised. This is the case for the dams maintained by ISC and its branches as well as for most of the dams that are owned by the municipalities. Other dams, especially the smaller ones and those without clear ownership, are in a bad condition.

 

This data is summarised in the following Table 4.7 by River Basin Management Region.


Table 4.7: Dams and Reservoirs of Regional Importance

 

No

River Basin

Management Region

Total Number of Dams

Status

Ownership

Technical Condition

Total Cost Spent on Maintenance and Repair of Dams from Ownership Transfer to 1 January 2001

 

Abandoned

Functional

Empty

No Data

Municipality

Cooperative

State

Company

Private

Others or not clear

Very Good

Good

Fair

Bad

Not Clear

To be abandoned

1

Danube

557

56

346

37

118

467

15

2

7

23

43

168

105

65

85

75

59

205,904

2

Black Sea

518

43

308

40

127

494

2

8

5

1

8

187

150

22

56

56

47

6,370

3

East Aegean Sea

1,293

6

345

36

906

842

257

20

1

11

162

363

98

15

48

763

6

104,685

4

West Aegean

321

10

196

47

68

163

35

10

1

3

109

128

77

12

67

27

10

22,840

 

Total

2,689

115

1,195

160

1,219

1,966

309

40

14

38

322

846

430

114

256

921

122

339,799

Source: MAF (February 2003)

 


Storage Dam Allocation by Territory

The greatest number of constructed dams is in the catchment areas of the following rivers: Maritsa - 665, Tundja - 245, Yantra - 181, Kamchia - 121. The large dams are concentrated in the following river basins: Maritsa - 24, Kamchia - 9, Struma - 9, Yantra - 9, Iskar - 6, and Tunja - 5.

 

Most of these rivers have significant storage capacity: Maritsa with 1,599 million m3, Arda with 1,269 million m3, Kamchia with 978 million m3, Iskar with 814 million m3 and Ogosta with 585 million m3.

 

Only limited construction of dams has been carried out in the river basins of the Nishava, Erma, Veleka, Mesta and in the river systems flowing into the Black Sea.

 

An important criterion for the regional distribution of dams is the ratio of storage volumes to the average multi-annual flow discharge in a given river basin. This ratio is termed the "coefficient of flow storage". It gives a measure of the level of storage provided and of the possibilities for new dams to be constructed.

 

This ratio has its highest values in the Black Sea rivers, inluding the Kamchia, Hadjiiska, Aheloi and Dyavolska and Dospat rivers in Rhodope mountain. In practice, however, there is no scope to build new storage facilities in these rivers as the reservoirs could not be filled due to shortage of water. Close to their limit values are the rivers Archar, Ogosta, Provadiiska with a ratio of about 75 %, where there is a high risk to the ecological requirements for low flow in the rivers. A ratio of about 50% is calculated for the following rivers: Russokastrenska - 57%, Tundja - 62%, Arda - 51 %, Voinishka - 59%, Topolovets - 42%, Iskar - 45%, Vit - 44%. However, for most of these rivers, the possibilities of additional storage are limited as there are no suitable sites for construction of dams. There are some possibilities in the Tundja, Arda and Iskar rivers. The ratio for the Maritsa river is about 39% and it could be increased to 45% by constructing 200 small reservoirs with a total capacity of 1,400 million m3. For the Veleka and Nishava rivers, the ratio is in practice zero. The ratio could be increased to 11% and 29% respectively by constructing new reservoirs. There are also possibilities for increasing the ratio of the following rivers: Struma - from 6.7% to 11.5%, Osam - from 9.3% to 24.3 %, Russenski Lom - from 33% to 52%, Fakiiska - from 0.86% to 10.2% and Dvoinitsa - 3% to 10%. Other low ratios are calculated for the rivers Devnya, Lom and Vidbol, but they lack good river cross-sections for construction of new dams. The Mesta river is of major importance as its ratio is 0.13% at present and there is considerable potential for some development.

 

Categorisation of Reservoirs by Purpose

 

Reservoirs can be categorised by purpose according to the following classes:

 

Dams of multipurpose use and with high national importance;

Irrigation dams;

 

Dams for hydropower use;

Drinking water supply dams;

Dams for supplying industrial water demands;

Dams for the needs of fisheries; and

Retention storage dams and reservoirs with special purposes;

 

There are 30 multi-purpose dams with a total storage capacity of about 3,100 million m3, amounting to 40% of the total stored water in all reservoirs. They are mainly concentrated in the river basins of the rivers Maritsa, Arda, Iskar and Ogosta. This group of reservoirs is particularly important for meeting the water demands for drinking water supply. The management of them is difficult and complicated as a balance has to be found between the competing demands of different economic sectors and regions as well. One of the largest problems is the conflict between irrigation and hydro-power generation. In the Water Law, 51 reservoirs are listed, including the above-mentioned 30 dams, as multi-purpose dams of national importance.

 

The number of dams classified for the purpose of irrigation is 1,943 and their total volume capacity is 2,060 million m3 or 26.5% of the total sum of the stored water. They are widely distributed in the various river systems and provide good opportunities for development of the irrigated agriculture. They can be found in the following basins: Maritsa river - 650; Tundja river - 242; Yantra river - 161;Kamchia river - 113; Vit river - 58. Irrigation dams with very small capacities are allocated in all other river systems, except the Nishava, Veleka and Ropotamo river systems.

 

The largest group of irrigation reservoirs is "small dams" with a combined total storage capacity of less than 1,000 million m3. They are widely distributed all around the country and only have local importannce. In general, these small reservoirs are not being well maintained or operated, potentially giving rise to safety concerns and risk of abandoning the infrastructure.

 

In the country there are about 20 reservoirs especially for fishery, but their capacity is non- significant with only 0.04% of the country's total capacity. There are 21 more dams constructed for flood prevention and other special purposes with only 0.2% of the total storage capacity.

 

 

5          Environmental Considerations

 

5.1       Environmental Policy and Legal Framework

 

5.1.2   National Environmental Strategy

 

The Environmental Strategy incorporates the main principles, targets and measures which are already identified and established in the National Plan for Economic Development 2000-2006. The work for achieving the main objectives of the policy will continue, in compliance with the priorities laid down in the ‘1999 Accession Partnership’ document. The most effective instruments for accomplishing these main objectives include:

 

·transposing into Bulgarian legislation the full EU Acquis covering environmental protection. The full transposition of the EIA and Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control EU Directives will be fulfilled when the new Environmental Protection Act (2001) enters into force;

 

·developing and carrying out sectoral programmes and plans at national and local level for practical implementation of the requirements of the legislation;

 

·improving the institutional and the administrative capacity as an important prerequisite for the implementation of the legislation; and

 

·improving the performance of the main institutions and the local authorities in the area of environmental protection.

 

The preparation of a National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis was adopted in September 2000. This National Programme clarifies and defines all the necessary actions and measures for achieving full and effective implementation of the EU legislative requirements. The Programme includes legislative, institutional and investment measures, as well as responsibilities of the institutions and organisations for its implementation. Extracts from the National Progamme are referred to in the Environmental Strategy and cover plans for practical implementation of EU legislation in the environmental sector. These include a National Programme for Waste Management Activities and a National Programme for Priority Construction of WWTP in the Towns with Population above 10000 Equivalent Inhabitants. These comprise priority investment projects, which have been identified on the basis of general and specific criteria, and the potential financial investment for their realisation. In addition, one priority project is proposed in the air quality sector.

 

 

5.1.2   National Environmental Monitoring System

Ordinance No 7/ 1986 classifies water into three main categories:

 

·category I includes water used for drinking purposes and the food industry;

 

·category II includes water used for drinking by animals, water sports and fish-farming; and

 

·category III includes water used for irrigation and for industrial purposes.

 

Water falling below the Category III is highly polluted, and may only be used for economic purposes (and not drinking water) in isolated cases.

 

The majority of rivers fall within category II, though there are many instances of eutrophication and pollution by domestic and industrial discharges, and less so run-off from agricultural land. A new Ordinance for categorization of water is due to be published, with five quality classes.  The National Water Monitoring System will monitor and provide data on the quantity and quality of the water resources.

 

Regulation No.5/2000 describes the National Water Monitoring System in Bulgaria. The System’s purpose is to monitor and provide data on the quantity and quality of the water resource, in order to enable water management and planning at the national and river basin. The Regulation establishes the permanent observation of meteorological, hydro-geological, hydrological, hydro-biological and hydro-chemical parameters. The objectives of the System are:

 

·to assess the current quantity and quality of waters, including waste waters;

 

·the timely identification of negative processes and forecasting their development;

 

·the prevention and limitation of harmful consequences; and

 

·to determine the degree of efficiency of measures realised for water use and protection.

 

 

The activities of National Water Monitoring System are undertaken by the Executive Agency of Environment together with the Chief Department of Waters. The System comprises:

 

·the National Network for Monitoring Precipitation and Surface Waters, including mineral waters, rivers, lakes, dams and sediments;

 

·the National Network for Monitoring (under)Ground Waters;

 

·the Coastal Network for the Black Sea; and

 

·the backup systems for operation, maintenance, communications and laboratory-information for the networks above.

 

The System has been operating for some time to a greater or lesser extent. Data are routinely collected once or twice per month by the REWPIs through a network of monitoring stations and points. These comprise 26 coastal stations, 13 stations for lakes and 253 river stations (covering 3,685 km out of 19,761 km of river networks). The System also monitors precipitation. Regulation No.5/2000 requires owners of facilities to self-monitor water use and waste water discharges into water bodies, and to provide these data to the Regional Environmental and Water Pollution Inspectorate (REWPI). Section 10.1.4 (below) considers water quality issues in more detail.

 

A similar system is in operation for monitoring air quality (see Ordinance 7/1999), though of limited relevance to Measure 1.6. The networks for monitoring the quality of water and air in Bulgaria are an integral part of the European Network (EUROWATERNET).

 

The Regulation requires that the National Water Monitoring System shall be organized on two levels: basin level and national level. The assessments and forecasts for the quantity and quality of waters shall be carried out at: basin level by the Basin Directorates; and at national level by the Ministry of Environment and Waters. The Regulation requires that the results from these shall be published in a bulletin for the state of the waters.

 

The measurements, observations and the laboratory analyses shall be carried out and the data stored by the Basin Directorates . These shall be established 2 years from the date that the Water Act (1999) came into force, 27 Jan 2000. In the interim, the REWPIs will continue to carry out the duties of the Basin Directorates. The Ministry of Environment and Waters and the Ministry of Transport shall establish and maintain the part of the National Water Monitoring System which relates to the Danube river.

 

5.1.3   Water Quality

 

 

The Water Act (2000), which entered into force in January 2000, requires that Basin Directorates are created in the four regions selected for basin management, which are: Danube; Black Sea;East Aegean Sea; and West Aegean Sea. The Basin Directorates shall be responsible for the implementation of integrated water management (including quality and quantity) through research, monitoring, permitting and environmental protection enforcement. A Chief Water Division has been established within the MEW, which will manage and co-ordinate the activitie of the four Basin Directorates.

 

The Act has been designed to comply with the recent EU Water Framework Directive. For harmonization of Bulgaria with EU environmental legislation and in accordance with the Water Act, a suite of legislative and regulatory water management has been prepared:

 

·Regulation on research, use and protection of ground water - in accordance with EU Directives 80/68 and 74/464;

 

·Ordinance No.1/07.07.2000 for investments, usage and protection of underground waters

 

·Regulation on the quality requirements of surface water intended for human consumption and household purposes - in accordance with Directive 75/440;

 

·Instruction No.9 /16.03.2001 on the quality of water intended for human consumption and household use

 

·Regulation on protecting the water from nitrate pollution of agricultural origin – in accordance with Directive 91/676;

 

·Instruction No.2/16.10.2000 for the protection of water from pollution by nitrates of agricultural origin

 

·Regulation on the categorisation of the waters in accordance with Draft Framework Directive (Com 97/49) and Directives 76/464 and its daughter Directives and 91/271;

 

·Regulation concerning the quality of the coastal waters – in accordance with Directive 79/923.

 

·Instruction No.8/ 2001 for the quality of the coastal waters

 

·Instruction No.4/10.2000 for quality of waters for fishery and for shellfish breeding

·Instruction No.5/08.11.2000 for the range and manner to increase the networks and activities of the National Water Monitoring System

 

·Instruction No.6/09.11.2000 for the emission norms of admissible content of harmful and dangerous substances in waste waters, discharged in water bodies

 

In addition, an Ordinance for the quality of irrigation water in accordance with the Water Act (as amended in OG vol.81/2000) is due from MEW.

 

An important component for development of Bulgarian policy in the water sector is the Decree, which establishes charges for water use from 2001 onwards. The charges for the right to use water and/or permitted use of water are one of the instruments for achieving the main objective defined in the Water Act: “a uniform and balanced water management that serves the interests of the society, protects people’s health and supports the country’s sustainable development”. The fees levied will be in accordance with the water usage. The introduction of these charges will allow achievement of:

 

·Enforcement of the legislative requirements established in the Environmental Protection Act and Water Act;

 

·Implementation of the ‘polluter pays’ principle;

 

·Accumulation of financial resources in the National Environmental Protection Fund, which, even if not sufficient on their own, would set the prerequisites for implementation of the most urgent measures directed toward uniform and balanced management of the significantly important and scarce water resource; and

 

·Implementation of economic mechanisms for stimulating the rational framework for water use and its protection.

 

The water management bodies at a basin level will be the Directors of the Basin Directorates and will operate in accordance with the NWEP to achieve balanced and sustainable water management that takes into account the water resource and all the demands on it.

 

Until the Basin Directorates are fully operational, the system for issuing and controlling permits water use and waste water discharges will be undertaken by the REWPIs in the relevant basin.

 

 

 

5.2       Environmental Issues Associated with Irrigated Agricultural

Development

 

The practice of irrigated agriculture has a number of generic environmental issues associated with it, largely due to the type of activities that are undertaken and their scale. In addition to the biodiversity and potential contamination issues associated with the use of agro-chemicals, the main issues are related to water quality and quantity. Construction of dams and offtake structures and impoundment of water for supply of irrigation water can interfere with fish migration and spawning and alter fluvial processes. They can reduce downstream flows in rivers, potentially causing ecological impacts on the river and flood plain and can exacerbate low flow problems such as eutrophication, particularly if return water is contaminated with fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides.

 

River training works to prevent flooding and improve water abstraction can lead to loss of riparian habitat and reduce temporary wetlands. These may be particularly important for migratory birds, amphibians or characteristic flora. Drainage works to reduce water logging and acidification (and therefore improve the soil structure and quality for agriculture) can reduce characteristic habitats. Also, they can cause water pollution by increased run-off of fertilisers and pesticides from the agricultural land created.

 

Previous (and some ongoing) agricultural practices were organised on a large scale, often through intensive production methods via ‘collective farming’ operations, some of which resulted in adverse environmental effects, such as:

 

·erosion from water courses, which has affected a small proportion of the territory of Bulgaria;

 

·acidification of soils, which has occurred sporadically throughout the country and has been exacerbated by deforestation and poor management, which has also lead to a decrease in soil fertility; and

 

·salinisation of soils, which has occurred in several irrigated areas but is not currently a major problem in Bulgaria.


2                                                              Table D.3 Summary Classification of irrigation systems by type, by size and by river basin management regions

 

No

 

River Basin Management

Number

Command area

Percentage

Total Irrigated area

Total gravity area

Total pump area

2.1                           Constructed

Usable

Usable / Constructed

Constructed

Usable

Constructed

Usable

Constructed

Usable

Constructed

Usable

ha

ha

%

ha

ha

%

%

ha

ha

%

%

Danube river

8

 area >10000 ha

61,19%

224680

149785

66,67%

60736

44464

27,03%

29,68%

163944

105322

72,97%

70,32%

 2

32

10000 >area >1000 ha

34,96%

128367

87074

67,83%

22743

20681

17,72%

23,75%

105624

66393

82,28%

76,25%

 3

30

 area <1000 ha

3,86%

14162

8910,4

62,92%

3458,4

2139

24,42%

24,01%

10704

6771,4

75,58%

75,99%

 

 

Total/Average

100,00%

367209

245769

66,93%

86937

67283

23,68%

27,38%

280272

178486

76,32%

72,62%

 1

Black Sea

5

 area >10000 ha

57,27%

90674

65056

71,75%

6693,3

6542,5

7,38%

10,06%

83981

58513

92,62%

89,94%

 2

17

10000 >area >1000 ha

32,76%

51865

41700

80,40%

5460,9

3934,8

10,53%

9,44%

46404

37765

89,47%

90,56%

 3

37

 area <1000 ha

9,98%

15801

9798,1

62,01%

2500,3

2494,4

15,82%

25,46%

13301

7303,7

84,18%

74,54%

 

 

Total/Average

100,00%

158340

116554

73,61%

14655

12972

9,26%

11,13%

143686

103582

90,74%

88,87%

 1

East Aegean Sea

7

 area >10000 ha

65,47%

225250

166214

73,79%

160633

117045

71,31%

70,42%

64619

49170

28,69%

29,58%

 2

30

10000 >area >1000 ha

28,17%

96908

65761

67,86%

46717

32953

48,21%

50,11%

50191

32807

51,79%

49,89%

 3

53

 area <1000 ha

6,36%

21892

15969

72,94%

3462,7

2390,3

15,82%

14,97%

18430

13579

84,18%

85,03%

 

 

Total/Average

100,00%

344050

247944

72,07%

210813

152388

61,27%

61,46%

133240

95556

38,73%

38,54%

 1

West Aegean Sea

22

10000 >area >1000 ha

86,28%

47512

41056

86,41%

24465

21680

51,49%

52,81%

23047

19376

48,51%

47,19%

 2

14

 area <1000 ha

13,72%

7553,6

4832

63,97%

2696,1

2358

35,69%

48,80%

4857,5

2474

64,31%

51,20%

 

 

Total/Average

100,00%

55065

45888

83,33%

27161

24038

49,33%

52,38%

27904

21850

50,67%

47,62%

 1

For the country

20

 area >10000 ha

58,46%

540604

381055

70,49%

228062

168051

42,19%

44,10%

312544

213005

57,81%

55,90%

 2

101

10000 >area >1000 ha

35,11%

324652

235590

72,57%

99386

79249

30,61%

33,64%

225266

156341

69,39%

66,36%

 3

134

 area <1000 ha

6,42%

59409

39509

66,50%

12118

9381,7

20,40%

23,75%

47291

30128

79,60%

76,25%

 

 

Total/Average

100,00%

924665

656154

70,96%

339565

256681

36,72%

39,12%

585102

399473

63,28%

60,88%

Note: Data based on 1998 ISC data

 

 

Table D.4 General Summary of Infrastructure of Constructed Irrigation Systems

 

No

River Bàsin Management

ISC Branch

Irrigation System Type

Constructed Irrigation Area

Constructed Irrigation Area by Technology

Actual Irrigated Area by Years

Open Canal

Pipe Line

Total

Gravity

Pump

Furrow

Sprinkler

Drip

1997

1998

1999

2000

km

km

ha

ha

ha

ha

ha

ha

ha

ha

ha

ha

1

Danube river

Veliko Tarnvo

338

0

44598

25297

19301

44598

0

0

400

573.8

259.4

2400.6

2

Vidin

419

223

20737

3093.2

17643

16489

4247.6

0

221.6

401

47.4

1224.4

3

Vratsa

285

92

47224

6941.8

40282

26955

20268

0

1955.3

1336.4

489

1722.5

4

Montana

147

47

22750

1379.3

21371

14320

8430

0

320.9

261.9

36.4

358.1

5

Pleven

549

45

53127

16605

36522

31982

20705

440.5

2146.6

1476.7

1249.7

3250.8

6

Russe

339

2819

57573

238.5

57334

4787.3

52786

0

180.3

467.8

86.1

413.1

7

Sofia

308

396

29555

26583

2971.8

18618

10937

0

640.6

649.1

362.3

848.6

8

Black Sea

Burgas

95

583

19922

5467.8

14454

4666.6

14968

287

335

137

139.5

414.2

9

Varna

92

351

17246

2288.7

14957

7251.3

9994.7

0

1286.8

1389.2

549.1

899.3

10

Targovishte

111

1031

26123

7256.9

18866

717.5

25235

170

408.3

714

385.2

1945.5

11

Shumen

101

1550

37398

2978.9

34420

0

37248

150.8

1100

1340.3

793.6

1418.3

12

East Aegean Sea

Pazrdjik

592

43

54689

46764

7925.2

42576

10957

1156

5065.5

4670.9

3899.8

5713.4

13

Plovdiv

638

31

69631

66132

3498.2

66205

3426.1

0

13670

12775

3735.3

5382.2

14

Assenovgrad

336

20

39691

32029

7662.4

39691

0

0

0

0

4117.4

4566.7

15

Sliven

205

226

34232

19013

15220

6458.8

27658

115.1

3820.1

3177.9

1550.9

4749.5

16

Stara Zagora

406

73

38516

31193

7322.6

36030

2486

0

4394.7

3202.5

2260.7

5653.1

17

Haskovo

269

437

50882

13843

37040

18879

31410

593.6

2228

2118.2

1233

1651.5

18

Yambol

210

724

25434

10912

14523

7588.5

17846

0

978.5

1018.9

1400

2150

19

West Aegean Sea

Gotse Delchev

154

6

8967.8

8224.2

743.6

8389.2

578.6

0

1350

1760

945

2600

20

Dupnitsa

184

172

13582

7372.3

6209.4

7169.6

5992.9

419.2

2440.8

471.2

401.2

746.1

21

Pernik

202

400

16045

4506.4

11538

6832.8

9211.9

0

380

527.2

256.4

531.6

22

Sandanski

365

0

15790

12899

2891.2

15790

0

0

1380

1350

775

711.2

 

Total

6345

9269

743710

351016

392695

425993

314385

3332

44703

39819

24972

49351

Data source: ISC data for year 2000 (reported Feb 2001)

 

 

3                                                              Table D.5 Summary Classification of Drainage Systems by type, by size and by river basin management regions

 

N

River Basin Management

Number

3.1                                                         Size of Command Area

Total

Gravity

Pump

Mixed

ha