Estimation of Sediment Balance for the Sava River- BALSES

The Sava River Basin is a major sub-basin of the Danube River, located in South Eastern Europe. The basin is shared by five countries, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia and four of them, except Montenegro, are Parties of the Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin (FASRB). By ratification of FASRB the Parties have committed themselves to act in compliance with the EU directives related to water management. The EU directives do, as well as the Sava River Basin Management Plan, address the sediment management as one of the key issues concerning both, the ecological, as well as hydromorphological targets.
Following the provisions of the FASRB the International Commission on the Sava River Basin (ISRBC) has developed the Protocol on Sediment Management to the FASRB which affirms the need for efficient cooperation among the Parties and for promotion of sustainable sediment management (SSM) solutions. To respond to the above mentioned needs, a project Towards Practical Guidance for Sustainable Sediment Management using the Sava River Basin as a Showcase has been launched upon the initiative of UNESCO Venice Office, together with the UNESCO International Sediment Initiative (ISI), European Sediment Network (SedNet) and the ISRBC. The main objective of this project is to develop and validate a practical guidance on how to achieve a SSM Plan on the river-basin scale. In October 2012 the practical training course was held where the top experts from Europe and the United States taught the theoretic fundamentals on sediment balance throughout the river system, sediment monitoring and evaluation of sediment quality and quantity. Based on the training course, a draft Guidance on Sustainable Sediment Management - Part I, has been developed and the project Estimation of Sediment Balance for the Sava River- BALSES launched. In this context, the purpose of the BALSES project is the application of the Guidance Part I in the Sava practice. The project is implemented by the core expert group which will analyse the sediment balance for the Sava River considering the input from the main tributaries, and thus to form a basis for sustainable transboundary sediment and water management. After collecting existing data the core expert group will analyse and evaluate the existing sediment data in the Sava River Basin, and make the best estimation of basin-wide sediment balance. Also, the core expert group will analyse temporal variability of the sediment data at the mean annual scale, estimate seasonal pattern and identify the role of floods in sediment transport. The identified monitoring and sampling gaps, and recognized data uncertainties will lead to the proposal of effective sediment monitoring system and recommendation of joint activities towards its establishment. The project started in May 2013 and will end in December 2013, tentatively.