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Seversk-Donets basin department of water resources PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erkin Turdibaev   
Thursday, 08 October 2009

Seversk-Donets Basin Department of Water Resources
Ukrainian State Water Committee

The Seversk-Donets Basin Department of Water Resources was founded in 1961, when a State Water Inspection for the Seversk Donets basin was established.

The city of Slavyansk (Donets provincen, Ukraine) was chosen for this purpose because of its location in close proximity to the Severs Donets river, approximately in its midstream, where Raygorod dam is situated and the Seversk Donets-Donbass canal takes its origin and due to equal distances from the city to catchment of Seversk Donets and of rivers in Preazovie.

Currently, the Seversk-Donets Basin Department of Water Resources includes three branches: Kharkov, Donets and Lugansk regional water-management organizations (RWMO), as well as independent divisions for multipurpose water use (DMWU) of Donets, Gorlov and Mariupol in Donets province and Lisinatchansk in Lugansk province.

The total quantity of staff in the basin department and RWMOs is 200 people.

Mission of the Department

According to the effective “Regulations on Seversk-Donets BDWR”, the latter is an authorized state-financed organization, which is responsible for management and supervision of water use, protection and restoration in the Seversk-Donets river basin, rivers in Preazovie, and the Dnieper river basin within the boundaries of Kharkov, Donets, and Lugansk provinces.

The main tasks of the department and its regional branches are as follows:

  •  ensure pubic management of water resources, pursue a uniform engineering policy, promote application of scientific and engineering achievements, new technologies and advanced experience in the water sector;
  • meet demands of population and economic sectors for water and ensure inter-basis re-distribution of water;
  • maintain international cooperation with the Russian Federation in area of water use and protection, as well as restoration of transboundary waterways;
  • take part in the development and implementation of state, interstate and regional programs related to water use, protection, and restoration;
  • take measures for environmental improvement of surface water and supervise their implementation in the area of operations;
  • develop and set operation regimes for multipurpose reservoirs and hydraulic systems, approve their operation rules;
  • exert control over following of the set operation regimes of multipurpose reservoirs and hydraulic systems in the area of operations;
  • issue licenses for activities within water fund’s lands, including channel dredging, sand and gravel recovery, cabling, pipelining and laying of other communications within water objects in the area of operations;
  • review and approve industrial and household waste disposal projects;
  • review and approve construction projects for hydrotechnical, hydrometric, and linear facilities that are to be implemented within water fund’s lands;
  • maintain state water inventory (cadastre) and accounting by collecting, processing and analyzing statistics on water resources use;
  • approve permissions for specific uses of surface water sources;
  • exert control over protection and use of water resources, in accordance with the current legislation;
  • exert control over surface water quality within the system of public environmental monitoring;
  • organize and exert external control over accuracy of measurements made in laboratories of water user enterprises;
  • addressing other issues in area of water management and control of water use and protection within the scope of operations.  


Water resources management

the Seversk-Donets Basin Department of Water Resources ensures public water management in the basins of Seversk Donets, the Dnieper river and rivers in Preazovie within the boundaries of Kharkov, Donets, and Lugansk provinces in order to supply population and economic sectors with water in required quantity and quality.

The basin principle of water management is taken as a basic one around the world. And in Ukraine this principle is used as a basis in planning and implementing water use methods, protecting and restoring water resources, according to the National Water Sector Development Program as adopted on January 17th, 2001.

Seversk Donets is the largest river in the Left-Bank Ukraine, which takes its origin and flows into the Don river in Russia. The river crosses three Ukrainian provinces it its middle reaches.

The Seversk Donets river basin – transboundary water entity – has a very complex and sensitive ecological system, which is comprised of a unique water-management system of canals, main water-conduits and reservoirs.

length of the river is 1053 km, including 723 km within Ukrainian boundaries, of which: 375 km (40%) – Kharkov province; 95 km (15%) – Donets province; and, 253 km (45%) – Lugansk province. In general, the Seversk Donets river basin comprises more than 266 rivers (longer than 10 km), with the total length of more than 7610 km.

The basin comprises 158 reservoirs, with the total volume of 1605 Mm3 at NMOL, of which 4 reservoirs has a volume of more than 100 Mm3. The largest reservoirs within the boundaries of Ukraine include: Petchenez (383 Mm3); Krasnopavlovsk – off-channel reservoir for canal system Dnieper-Donbass (410 Mm3); Krasno-oskolsk (445 Mm3); and, Uglegorsk (162 Mm3).

The general quantity of reservoirs and ponds is 2680, while their total volume is 1901 Mm3.

The Seversk Donets river basin has a unique water-management system comprised of: Dnieper-Donbass canal, capacity 120 m
З/s, to transport Dnieper water to the Seversk Donets river through Krasnopavlovsk reservoir; Seversk Donets-Donbass canal, capacity 43 m3/s, to supply water to most of Donbass; Petchenez and Krasno-oskolsk reservoirs constructed for drinking water supply of Kharkov, Donets and Lugansk provinces.  

the Seversk-Donets Basin Department of Water Resources has practical experience in making consistent management decisions on regulation and allocation of river runoff, based on demands of all stakeholders. Such decisions are made at inter-departmental meetings.

An Inter-departmental Commission was established for governing and coordination. The Commission is comprised of representatives of supervisory agencies of provinces and large enterprises-water users.

The decisions made at its meetings are obligatory for all actors of the water-economy system, while the Seversk-Donets Basin Department ensures coordination of their actions and supervises that the established water system operation regimes are followed.

One way to settle water relations in the region is to sign a basin agreement between local executive government bodies and the basin department, with the involvement of provincial supervisory bodies.

The goal of signing the Agreement is to identify the degree of impact of administrative territories within the Seversk Donets river basin on its environmental conditions. And the most important is to identify priority directions and joint solution of problems related to water body conservation and restoration, based on basin approach.

Basin Council for water management in the Seversk Donets river basin was established at the kick-off meeting on December 11th 2007.

The Council’s functions include: ensuring coordinated water use within the basin boundaries; arranging the development of River basin management plan (RBMP); identifying priority objective; developing Program of measures for implementation of RBMP based on wide discussion among all stakeholders and the general public in Kharkov, Donets and Lugansk provinces.  

State monitoring of surface water quality

The Seversk-Donets Basin Department and its local branches are the entities of state monitoring of surface water quality that perform observations over quality of water in rivers and other water bodies, including drinking water sources.

For assessment of quality of water bodies in Ukraine, according to the Decree #391 of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers of 30.03.1998, the state monitoring of surface water is performed. As a result, reliable, complete, accurate and timely information characterizing the processes of interaction in aquatic environments is collected. 

The European experts concluded that basin’s laboratory was a leading one performing monitoring of surface water and was ready for certification according to international standards.  In 2007, the laboratory’s staff 4 times took part in the international quality check program “Aquacheck”, which united 800 European laboratories. Based on program results, the basin and regional laboratories were recognized the best ones and their staff have received the registered certificates, according to ISO 17025:2005.

The basin laboratory of the Seversk-Donets BDWR is recognized as the best one in the Ukrainian state water management system and appointed as a coordinator of external laboratorial control (checking for accuracy of measurement results) in Ukrainian laboratories (order # 277 of 19.11.2002).

The main objective of the external laboratorial control is assessing the accuracy of data based on the results of measurement of check samples.

In 2007, the basin water monitoring laboratory of the Seversk-Donets BDWR took part in the service quality competition of 100 Best Ukrainian Goods, which was held under the auspices of the Ukrainian President, in nomination “Inter-laboratory comparison of measurements in the laboratories of the Ukrainian state water management system and the laboratories of water user-enterprises in Donets province and neighboring regions”. According to competition results, the basin laboratory was awarded a diploma of the All-Ukrainian service quality competition.

The recognition of the laboratory’s achievements proves the reasonability of activity regarding the external laboratorial testing, the high level of organization and implementation, and the real development prospects, according to the requirements of Water Framework Directive.

Modern laboratory equipment and high-skilled staff who possess international certificates allow ensuring high accuracy of measurements and reliability of water quality control. Evidently, this contributes to environmental conservation and population’s health.

International cooperation

Water management in the Seversk Donets basin – a transboundary water object – is performed in Ukraine with account of border requirements in terms of quality and quantity.

In order to regulate water relations along transboundary rivers, on October 19th 1992, an Agreement between the Governments of Russia and Ukraine was signed in the Kiev city about shared use and protection of transboundary water objects. This Agreement set basic principles of water sharing, coordinated water measures, and surface water observations. 

The Chairman of Ukrainian State Water Management Organization Stashuk V.A. is an authorised responsible person for this Agreement from the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, while the Head of Russian Federal Water Agency, Seleverstova M.V. is responsible from Russia.




The Deputies Responsible person for implementation of the Agreement are: Chief of the Seversk-Donets BDWR Antonenko V.E.; and, Head of Don Basin Water Management Nikanorov V.A.




The authorized responsible persons from Ukraine and the Russian Federation meet once a year, while their deputies -  at least twice a year on the Seversk Donets river basin.  

For implementation of the interstate agreement, the following regulatory documents were developed: “Procedure of organization of work on water management in the Seversk Donets river basin”; “Program of joint analytical control over status of transboundary water objects for 2006-2010” (which is developed every five years and sets the locations and frequency of sampling, the lists of indicators and methods for their estimation); Procedure of interaction in emergency situations on transboundary water objects.

Upon decision of the authorized responsible persons in 2006, an interstate system of data exchange was developed and applied. Using this system, the Parties provide data on operation regimes of main reservoirs located in Russian and Ukrainian territories, hydrological forecasts for different seasons of a year and quality of transboundary water objects.

Since the effective date of the Agreement in the Seversk Donets river basin, the Parties has been managing to ensure adequate transparency and coordination of actions on transboundary water objects.  




Community outreach

In order to shape progressive ecological mindset of the youth and foster water friendliness, every year the Seversk-Donets BDWR holds a creative contest “Seversk Donets – through the eyes of the youth” before the Seversk-Donets Day.

The contest is open to the students of comprehensive secondary schools and other educational institutions in the city of Slavyansk and Slavyansk district.

The participants should submit photo-materials, creative or investigative work, handicrafts made of natural materials, posters, pictures, and wall newspapers that cover environmental problems in different nominations.

Winners and laureates are awarded with diplomas and prizes. This gives incentives for ecological hobby groups to implement nature-protection measures in cities and towns of Donets province and raises their interest in further development.






The Seversk Donets Day

Upon initiative of the Basin Department’s staff and the community organization “SIVERSKIY DONETS – VIDROJDENNYA”, the first large-scale public event – the Seversk Donets Day – took place in September 2007. Since that time, this event has become traditional and is celebrated every year.

The Seversk Donets Day gave a start to the tradition to organize events aimed at improving conditions in the Seversk Donets river – the major waterway in East Ukraine – which determines the health and life quality of population in Kharkov, Donets, and Lugansk provinces, as well as in two Russian provinces. 

Now, the ecological status of water resources in such a tense area as the Seversk Donets river basin is being considered at interstate level and needs to be solved by integrated efforts of the both transboundary states – Ukraine and Russia.








While acknowledging the problem and understanding a need for actions to improve current situation, a community-based organization “SEVERSKIY DONETS – VOZROJDENIYE” (The Seversk Donets - Revival) was established upon initiative of staff in the Basin Department.

The primary goal and objective of the organization is to shape progressive ecological mindset and foster water friendliness of population and the youth, as well as implement measures to conserve and restore water resources in East Donbass and Slobojantshina.






Water, as opposed to any other commercial item, belongs to the public in general and should be protected and treated carefully.

Nowadays, the ecological culture, careful attitude to water bodies and rational water use to the benefit of humankind is topical all over the world and in Ukraine in particular. 

Modern principles and approaches of the world society in area of nature use are based on preventive and proactive measures; therefore, environmental education of population is one of important issues, among others, related to rational nature management and environmental sanitation.

By involving population and the public in general in discussion about and solving of rational nature management issues, by providing the public with essential knowledge on state-of-affairs, role and value of water, we would be able to revive water resources in the Seversk Donets river basin.

For more details on the Seversk-Donets Basin Department of Water Resources, please, visit: www.sdbuvr.slav.dn.ua


Head-quarters of the Seversk-Donets BDWR:
Kommunarov str., 35, Slavyansk, 84122, Donets province, Ukraine
phone/fax (06262)2-78-94, phone.2-81-96, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 September 2018 )
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