Transboundary Water Resources

Water Freedom System

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In general, Macedonia is an upstream country. All Macedonian rivers flow into neighboring countries (Table 23.8). Transboundary river catchments in Macedonia are: Crn Drim catchment including Ohrid and Prespa Lakes (MK-AL-GR), Vardar/ Axios catchment (MK-GR) where small part inflows from Yugoslavia (Lepenec and Pcinja rivers) (MK-SRB), Strumica/Struma catchment (MK-BG) and Lake Dojran catchment (MK-GR) (Table 23.8) [11, 12].

Regarding shared groundwater resources, the Prespa - Ohrid lake system and Lake Dojran are examples of a groundwater - surface water interaction with influence on the catchment environment. In the last decade, dramatic decrease of the water surface level in lakes Prespa and Dojran has occurred. Dojran Lake, being a shallow warm-water lake experiences extreme pressure from its environment, because three quarters of the volume of water disappeared in the period 1988-2002. Some recovery is noted due to two wet years and the construction of supplementary supply system from wells in Gjavato region. Prespa Lake and Ohrid Lake are hydraulically connected through karstic massif of Galicica Mountain. Exploration of this connection is necessary in order to re-establish the water balance in the catchment. There is a requirement for a general planning and management of shared water resources in the region. Regarding Prespa and Ohrid Lakes, several projects are already under way. Regarding Lake Dojran, international cooperation in research, investigations and management is of utmost importance [12].

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