Effectively managing Romania’s water resources is crucial not only for the country but also for Europe. Over a third of the great Danube river flows within Romania’s borders – 98% of Romania lies in the Danube Basin – and all wastewater discharged into the Danube along its length enters the Black Sea on Romania’s coastline. The Romanian authority for all issues related to water is the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management (NIHWM), which has a key role to play in the Romanian economy.
The significance of the Danube is highlighted in the EU Water Framework Directive, and the NIHWM has been working hard to help Romania meet EU goals for water, including reducing pollution, promoting sustainable water usage, protecting the water environment, improving aquatic ecosystems and mitigating the effects of floods and droughts. Daniela Radulescu, the NIHWM’s Director, is also the Secretary of the Central and Eastern European Network of Basin Organisations and is on the steering committee of the International Network of Basin Organisations.
Under Daniela Radulescu’s leadership, the NIHWM oversees Romania’s 11 river basins, coordinates Romania’s river-basin development plans and provides technical support for national efforts to control flooding and protect Romania’s water resources from pollution and other threats. The NIHWM researches and provides technical assistance concerning hydrologic forecasts; flood and drought warnings; mathematical modelling and data bases concerning Romania’s water resources; general water management; and eco-hydrology, including assessing the impact of human activity and climate change on Romania’s water system.
Participating in international water projects
The institute regularly participates in EU and international projects in the water sector, including the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Operational Hydrological Programme, and various EU and NATO water initiatives. The NIHWM represents Romania in meetings of the WMO.
The NIHWM welcomes EU and international partnerships. In 2014, Daniela Radulescu established a joint project between the NIHWM and the World Water Academy of the Netherlands to provide practical training for Romanian professionals in the water sector concerning integrated water-resources management, flood-risk management, and dike construction and maintenance.
When the project was launched, Daniela Radulescu commented, “Flood-risk management is of high priority in Romania and demands international and national exchange of knowledge and know-how. I hope that we can use the philosophy and the experiences of the World Water Academy to accelerate the capacity development of our institute.” The NIHWM will continue to promote high EU and international standards in the management of Romania’s precious water resources.