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watching eyes

Rivers and their catchment are under pressure in Ukraine. Soil, groundwater, surface waters and drinking water have been investigated since Ukraine became independant.

Examples for small city rivers:

underground river

R. Darnitza, Kiev,  exit of a 5 km underground tunnel

r. darnitza-mussor

R. Darnitza used for dumping

r. siretz, obolon

R. Siretz, Kiev region Obolon

dumping place r. siretz

R. Siretz waste dumping place

Smaller rivers (as on the photos above) in and around Kiev are loaded with pollutants from storm water and soil contamination. The main problems are soil erosion that damage or wash away organisms (river biocoenosis), use of salt during winter and chlororganic compounds that are used commercialy and privately and end up in the streams. In some places nutrients from private gardens have an additional impact, especially when the rivers are divided into a series of fishponds or reservoirs. Often waste is dumped into the rivers themselves or they are flushed into the river by heavier storm events. A short compilation of earlier studies is shown here.

The problem of Salinisation and Chlororganics (AOX) in Ukrainian rivers is presented  here. The data shown are from earlier studies but as similar works are still rare in Ukraine they are shown here.



Examples of bigger rivers and their problems: (s. photos from 2007-2010)

kiev reservoir

Kiev reservoir (north of Kiev) in winter (l)

 kiev reservoir in summer

     in summer (r)

r. desna, winter

River Desna (Dnepr tributary 100 km north of Kiev near Sokolovka) in winter

r. desna

River Desna (Dnepr tributary near Sokolovka) in summer

r. danube

  Danube Delta arm

pesticides tractor

Pesticides are increasingly applied, controls of water contamination are missing

The bigger rivers suffer from salinisation (drainage from mining) and eutrophication caused by waste water and agriculture. The problems have been investigated in Ukraine ( River Inguletz and Dnepr) and Russia (River Ob).

Finally we present  big river systems that have been investigated in former years.

Historical data:: drinking water sources





 artesian well


village well


In most cities, surface waters are the main source of drinking water. Treatment and disinfection of this water are rather problematic: toxic effects on water organisms (En / Ru) and formation of byproducts that can have negative impacts on human healthin the long term.





 More than 260 deep artesian wells have been drilled in Kiev 10 to 20 years ago to provide alternative drinking water; here people can fill up their daily ration; the only question is:  do they always provide safe drinking water ? ......  In some cases doubts are justified.

Most wells have officially been closed for several years for hygienical reasons but in recent years the have been opened again; however regular controls are missing now!!!









Ukrainians, living in villages, are also at risk: water from shallow wells is often enriched with nitrates and pesticides. Since the "Sanitary Epidemiological Station" has been closed, hygienical controls are not continued.


 Waste management

Leachate Groundwater pollution


Landfilling in Ukraine: overview of problems (poster)            


 Landfill leachate, out of view in the underground

Recent years GIS-based river basin studies                

   Summary of methods

Integrated river basin management includes whole river basins with their landscapes, vegetation cover, soil types, groundwater and surface  waters. The whole river basin with all its relevant components can be summarised in a computer model based on a GIS (Geographical Information System).

The method is explained in English and in Ukrainian language:

- information on GIS and GIS-based models  (English overview extended version

First published results are available  here.

    1. Investigation scheme

    2. Protocols   - sampling sheets and analyses (Eng & Ukr.)

    3. Ecological assessments

    4. Persistent organic pollutants (POP)

    5. PKL

    6. AOX


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