WATER AGENT – THE DANUBE REGION

Social responsability for water in the region

Overall goal:

Basic idea of project Water agent is to restitute international co-operation and connection through encouragment of rethinking our everyday actions and suggestion on changes about racional and responsible behavior with water as the existentially essential resource.

Specific objectives:

  1. The introduction of direct supervision of water consumption, which initiates a process of rationalization of water consumption in schools and kindergartens
  2. Connecting by application that allows insight into consumption and creates the possibility of international communication
  3. Educating on the topic of responsible treatment of the water (water in nature, needs and consumption, pollution, water management and energy efficiency of the production of drinking water and wastewater treatment).

Backround:

Water is essencially important resource needed in everyday life through the aspect of drinking and tehnical water, food production, as well as transport, tourism ant it is important to draw attention to the necessity of responsible behavior toward the water in terms of racional consumption, reduced ie. Eliminated pollution and conscientios manegement. Lack of drinking water is the problem that half of the world’s population will face by 2030. Less then 1% of water is avaible for use. Average consumption in europe is 150 l/day and water consumption is two times faster then production. Early childhood education in the field of environmental protection is the foundation of education for sustainable development. Children are very curious and researchers in orientation. And with a minimum of incentives they can make good contact with nature, and to develop proper attitude towards the need for environmental protection.

region-iz-otvorene-cesme-istece

Target group:

Project is intended for everybody.

  1. Actve participants of the project are schoolchildren ( III grade of elementary school) who as target group are very receptive for co-operation. With education and awekening of the children we are building the future adults with preestablished awernes of water as a natural resource, which is not inexhaustible and is strategically important for the survival of the human race and the entire planet. By educating children and influencing their immediate environment and thus indirectly educate practically the entire local community.
  2. The target groups are also local governments with whom we establish communication in order to faciliate the implementation of the project.
  3. Professional department institutions and public companies with which it is necessary to establish cooperation in terms of technical support and project support at the level of specificity and complexity of the topic ie. of the problem we are solving.
  4. Companies that are aware and working on programs of social responsibility, volunteerism and engagement in projects and civil initiatives.

Activities:

For the implementation of direct supervision of water consumption and networking of users, the technical didactic tool was made, in the form of measuring device and internet applications Water agent through which the children exchange and compare the data on consumption of water with their peers in other schools. The measuring device is an innovative product from Slovenia, unique in its characteristics and opportunities of use.

The project is based on work with children, they are transferring their experiences in project activities to family members, and there appears a possibility to include partner organizations and companies that are interested, due to its own strategic marketing,  to find space in the expansion of the network of ecological project in the area of global conservation activities of quality the quantity of water resources.

Monitoring of consumption is the process of utilization of measuring device that is installed directly on the faucet and reads the water flow. In addition to monitoring of consumption, every teacher organizes education. For these purposes, an educational package is prepared, that includes: measuring device, instructions for installation and use of devices with a video attachment and a program for working with children with instructions for the use of applications ie. entering data to www.vodnaagencija.org/agent/ . Project activities include the design and preparation of flyers, posters, badges and printing of flags marking the school Water agents. All printed material, addressing the public and media contacts will be accompanied by information and labels of the donors and partners. National coordinators submit a work report to the project ie. society Water Agency.

Kopija od spletna aplikacija Vodni agent

Activity of education programs that are conducted in schools is adapted to the age ie existing knowledge gained through former education (in each country different) and it covers theoretical and practical part. The theoretical part are interactive lectures in the form of interviews with children, quizes, presentation and general conversation. The practical part of the activities are creative workshops on the topic of water, a wide range of sub-themes ie aspects where we can talk about water. Techniques are various, an are adapted to the age. The register of polluters of water flows is also carried out, it is done in local communities where the project is implemented and  activities towards solving this problem are being planned. Part of the project activities is connecting with public utility enterprises in order to familiarize children with the technology and manufacturing process of water and wastewater.

The Danube region in its widest sense

The Danube is, after the Volga, the second longest and the second richest river in Europe and the longest river in the European Union. The Danube rises in the Schwarzwald (forested mountain area, in the province of Baden-Württemberg, in the southwest of Germany) merging rivers Brigach and Breg in Donaueschingen. Further flowing eastwards through several major cities in Central and Eastern Europe (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade) and after 2850 km, on the Black Sea coast, creates a delta in Romania and Ukraine, which is listed as world heritage by UNESCO.

Through the history and today, the Danube has always been an important international waterway. For a long time it was the northeastern boundary of the ancient Roman state. The river now flows through, or it forms the border of ten countries, namely in order from source to the confluence: Germany (7.5%), Austria (10.3%), Slovakia (5.8%), Hungary (11.7%), Croatia (4.5%), Serbia (10.3%), Bulgaria (5.2%), Romania (28.9%), Moldova (1.7%) and Ukraine (3.8%). The river basin includes ten other states, whose rivers as a tributaries, are water supplying the Danube: Italy (0.15%), Poland (0.09%), Switzerland (0.32%), Czech Republic (2.6%), Slovenia (2.2%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.8%), Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece and Albania (0.03%).

region-danube region

The only major European river that flows from west to east is exactly the Danube. Following the path of 2850 km river flows into the Black Sea in the area of the Danube Delta (4 300 km²) in Romania and Ukraine. Unlike other rivers, the Danube length is measured from the confluence to the source, the starting point is considered to be a lighthouse in Sulina on the Black Sea. The current Danube basin has an area of 805,000 square kilometers. The tributaries that are located mainly in the Alps are mostly coming from the right side. Start of Danube is created by two rivers in Schwarzwald, Breg and Brigach. Source  of  the Breg is near Furtwangen, at 1078 meters altitude. Because of the fact that this river has exceed the long way, it is geographically regarded as the source of the Danube. The two rivers merge in Donaueschingen where, in the castle park, there is a fountain from the 19th century called “Donauquelle” which symbolizes the official source of the river. Danube is from Baden-Wuerttemberg moving through Sigmaringen and Ulm, enters through Bavaria (Regensburg and Passau) in northern Austria (passing through Linz and Vienna), and the south of Slovakia, where it goes through Bratislava, passes through Hungary (through Budapest) from north to south and between Baranja and river island Karapandža enters into eastern Croatia. Then it goes to the Croatian border and Serbia (Vojvodina), and roughly follows the border of the two states. Passes near Vukovar, and then near Ilok is leaving Croatia and entering Serbia. At the entrance to Serbia passes Backa Palanka, then Novi Sad, Belgrade with Zemun, and Smederevo. The river later represents the border between Serbia and Romania, and later between Romania and Bulgaria, after which it flows into the Black Sea in Romania, creating a large delta on the border with Ukraine. The Republic of Moldova in 1990, gained access to about 300 meters of the rivers left bank at Giurgiuleştija (between the towns of Galati and Reni).

 

The potential of the Danube (reasons of preserving water quality)

The Danube is an important source of drinking water for ten million people who live along the river. In Baden-Württemberg, the water enterprise that supplies drinking water to the area between Stuttgart, Bad Mergentheim, Aalen and Alb-Donau district, 30% of water of 30 million cubic meters (2004.) makes processed Danube water. Other cities like Ulm and Passau also use larger amounts of Danube water as drinking water. In Austria, 99% of drinking water is drawn from underground sources and Danube water is used only during periods of extreme heat. Similarly, in Hungary, where 91% of the drinking water is water from underground sources. Other countries are also poor users of water from the Danube, due to the strong pollution. Only the places on the Romanian coast, are using this water for drinking, because the river in this area is again clean (Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Danube Delta).

Besides being the large navigable river, therefore the Danube is one of the most important factors of economic, urban, cultural and historical development of the region, which is inhabited by 115 million people.

This is a factor of effective European cooperation, as well as national and regional development, where the river with its potential influence on the intensification of agriculture through irrigation, industrial development associated with cheap water transportation, transport, port activities, seasonal recreation and cultural tourism. This region is considered a “macro-region” based on shared values, common historical heritage and a common future. Also, the countries of the Danube region share a long history of cooperation. Convention on the Protection of the Danube in 1994. has been signed by 14 countries with a total territory of more than 2000 square kilometers. States parties to the Convention are also signatories of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

Environmental resources are shared between countries and go beyond national interests. This is particularly true for the Danube Region, which includes mountainous areas such as the Carpathians, the Balkans and part of the Alps. This region also has a rich and unique flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, including the few places in Europe that are home to pelicans, wolves, bears and lynx. There is under growing pressure from human activities. Cooperation is crucial, otherwise good work in one place is quickly undone by neglecting elsewhere. Existing cooperation structures should be reinforced.

 

Time for establishing a system: 5 years

Activities: First year of implementation

Cities of the Western Balkans:

Slovenia Maribor Murska Sobota Ljutomer Gornja Radgona Ptuj Slovenska Bistrica Rogaška Slatina Celje Slovenj Gradec Velenje Laško Brežice Krško Novo Mesto Črnomelj Ljubljana Domžale Kamnik Kranj Bled Jesenice Postojna Logatec Vrhnika Idrija Nova Gorica Vipava Koper Ankaran Izola Piran Portorož Škofja Loka Tržič Trbovlje Zagorje ob Savi

Croatia Osijek Vukovar Ilok Đakovo Varaždin Županja Vinkovci Bjelovar Virovitica Slavonski Brod Sisak Požega Zagreb Koprivnica Čakovec Karlovac Petrinja Rijeka Pula Opatija Rovinj Umag Šibenik Zadar Trogir Split Makarska Dubrovnik Korčula Hvar Bol Krk Cres Mali Lošinj

Serbia Beograd Leskovac Vranje Dimitrovgrad Kuršumlija Prokuplje Niš Kruševac Kraljevo Čačak Užice Valjevo Paradin Duprija Zaječar Bor Jagodina Požarevac Smederevo Ruma Sremska Mitrovica Pančevo Vršac Kikinda Novi Sad Bačka Palanka Sombor Subotica

Kosovo Priština Prizren Novi Pazar Kosovska Mitrovica

Albania Tirana Drač Skadar Vlore

Macedonia Veles Negotino Kavadarci Demir Kapija Struga Ohrid Kičevo Debar Strumica Djevdjelija Skopje Tetovo Gostivar Prilep Bitola Kumanovo Štip Berovo Kočani

Montenegro Podgorica Nikšid Herceg Novi Bar Kotor Ulcinj Berane Pljevlja Cetinje

Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo Banja Luka Bihad Zenica Tuzla Mostar Bijeljina Brčko Prijedor Bosanska Gradiška Priboj Doboj Zvornik Prnjavor

Greece Solun Komotini Kozani Atina

 

Second year of implementation:
4B – 4 metropolis on the Danube: Vienna – Bratislava – Budapest-Belgrade

 

Third year of implementation:

Cities on the Danube:

Tuttlingen, Sigmaringen, Ulm, Ingolstadt, Regensburg, Straubing and Passau, Germany

Mauthausen, Enns, Durnstein, Krems, Linz and Wienna, Austria

Bratislava, Komoran, Slovakia

Gyor (Djer), Szoba, Višegrad, Dunajuvaroš, Baja, Mohač, Budimpešta, Hungary

Vukovar i Ilok, Croatia

Apatin, Bačka Palanka, Novi Sad, Beograd, Pančevo, Smederevo, Serbia

Baragana, Dobrudža, Turnu Severin, Giurgiu, Braila i Galati, Romania

Giurgiulesti, Moldova

Vilkov, Izmail, Kilija, Ukraine

 

IV year of implementation:

Cities in countries that are directly connected with the Danube:

Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia (continuation of), Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine

 

V years of implementation:

Cities in states which its tributaries belong to the Danube basin: Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, Albania

We plan to achieve targets through these activities primarily in the cities of the Western Balkans region, which is part of the already initiated project to establish a system which are now covered under 4 countries: Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The first phase is the involvement of all 9 countries of the Western Balkans. After that we would connect four capitals that are directly on the Danube and that each in their relations towards this river has some peculiarities.

With that, we will create the ambience of linking these cities in terms of exchange of experiences in all aspects from production and distribution of water to wastewater treatment. That part of the project would include the addition of 3 states, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Directly on the Danube is 40 cities and approximately 10 cities in states which belong to the basins of the rivers tributaries to the Danube region, about 200 cities. The total the project includes 244 city. Education of coordinators for work, in the cities on the Danube,  conducts Society Water agency with its experienced associates in the territory of these states. Education of National Coordinators, for the states that are in the Danube region, is carried out continuously from the first year of implementation, ie. continuing its system from 2013. The training is carried out by the project, the Society Water Agency with the support of NGOs and their examples of good practice with the involvement of relevant professional associates.

Education is organized annually, at an international conference where the coordinators,  who are already involved in the project and the newly submitted meet, based on the calls,  which Society Water Agency is sending to them. National coordinators are responsible to create teams that will work in the territories according to the plan to engage in activities of the given country. The entire project, ie. establishment of the system from the beginning is visible by the media, so that they are part of the activities and the press conferences and individual contacts and media appearances. Project activities are professional conferences *, working and video meetings, reports of work, monitoring and evaluation. A special part of the project are expert camps and study tours for coordinators and partners *. All materials for the work will be adapted to the needs of education and translated into the languages of the countries.

 

Results:

  • Establishing communication and cooperation between countries in the Danube region, their schools, institutions and local governments or authorities, companies and NGOs;
  • Establishing a network of coordinators;
  • Applicable application which is the foundation of networking and databases for international program;
  • Quantitative data obtained by scanning devices and data analysis that should point to the reduced water consumption and thus confirms change in daily habits, which represent a database for further scientific and technical research;
  • Improved web page vodnaagencija.org with interactive, video and other contents for more active involvement of children and teachers in the communication with this media;
  • Educated children in addition to a sufficient amount of information about water and its importance have changed the daily habits in water consumption. Also the increased awareness and knowledge regarding the necessity of all forms of energy and natural resources and their conservation because they are not inexhaustible (water, specifically in many parts of the world is already missing to the limits of survival of life);
  • Established communication of children within the class, develop a sense of working in teams and positioning of leaders;
  • Connected children at the international level and mutual influence on different levels of development in accordance with the culture of environmental protection and awareness of the importance of the aforementioned
  • Connected schools and created relationships that can be permanent and multilayered and are applicable in some new projects
  • Learning through the games and the ability to bring all the experience in the house because they are, as a good mediator suitable for transmitting ideas and new technologies;
  • Schools as institutions gain new knowledge, but also receive didactic equipment for work (measuring device is usable for work in various fields) and also get the possibility to save water and energy, which will be long-lasting effects on the finance
  • Designed, printed and distributed flyers, posters, badges and schools Water agents will be marked with a flag
  • Organization of press conferences, individual contacts made and performances with the media and information published in the media;
  • Created situation and environment to the measuring device, it becomes part of the system of education in the schools as a didactic tool that helps in the process of raising awareness of children on the rational use of water as it allows us to monitor consumption with direct supervision and is an excellent tool for more school subjects

 

Indicators:

5 years of establishing the project:

  • 20 states
  • 244 cities
  • 44 national coordinators
  • 1280 schools
  • 3840 educational packages
  • 3840 teachers
  • 115.200 children
  • 11.5 million indirectly connected users
  • 10 press conferences
  • 5 international conferences *
  • 4 research camp *
  • 4 study trips *

 

Responsible for the Project:

Society Water Agency, was established in 2013 in the Republic of Slovenia with the aim to draw public attention to the necessity for a responsible attitude towards water in nature. First of all, the irrational use and all the side effects from production through distribution of drinking water to wastewater treatment. Even before the official formation of the organization, in schools in the Republic of Slovenia activities of monitoring consumption of drinking water have been initiated. The project evolved through time in order to contribute to global activities for the preservation of water resources. In the first phase of measurement application Water Agent is improved (on www.vodnaagencija.si), which in addition to monitoring the results of measurements allows networking users which now, also are outside of the Republic of Slovenia. Already at the end of 2013, operation of the organization received the regional character by the inclusion of the Republic of Serbia in the activity. The project was called simply the Water Agent.

This not only expanded but an educational pilot project has been done, which has given excellent results. Now we have educational package the Water Agent that is easily accessible to all interested schools. In 2014, several schools in the Republic of Croatian actively joined the project. So far the system has been activated in 84 pre-schools and schools in 4 countries of the Western Balkans. In early October 2015 in Celje, was organized the International Conference which was attended by 48 coordinators, of which sixteen are from the countries that participate in the project.

Project activities were carried out with its own funds and with the support of partners gathered in the group Energo Go, settled in 2014. We cooperate with several retail chains, that have enabled us the public presentation of the project. We have also participated in the MOS( International Trade and Business Fair) in Celje in 2015, the Ecology Fair in Novi Sad in 2015 and Eco Fair and Energy in Belgrade in 2015. We have developed a Water educational system with which in schools with the support of partners, we demonstrate the water supply system from the factory to the tap water.

 As examples of good practice we include the fact that the Local government of Rogaska Slatina included all schools in Rogaska Slatina in the project ie. a system of direct supervision, and from 2016 with Public Communal Company Rogaska Slatina we implemented a joint project Water Agent ” With steps of knowledge to re-use and environmental protection.” It is carried out in 20 schools of 6 districts which activities include PCC Rogaska Slatina.

We achived a system of cooperation with the NGO organizations in the region which are dealing with environmental protection and education of children and have experience in it. From the beginning of international activities, we have media support from specialized magazine for environmental protection, sustainable development and healthy life style, Ekolist.