Real-time monitoring in Moldova
A project under NATO's Science for Peace programme to develop monitoring and modelling data for the water quality management of two central European rivers is about to go live
Under a new NATO funded Science for Peace programme project, Moldova, Ukraine,
Romania and Portugal have been working together to develop a real-time monitoring
and decision support system for the management of two central European rivers,
the Prut and Nistru.
The project builds on an earlier NATO-funded project involving Portugal to
develop methodologies for water resources development and management in Moldova.
This latest project, due for delivery this month, aims to fill information gaps
in water quality and quantity for mathematical modelling, civil service alert
systems for floods and pollution incidents and for more efficient river basin
The NATO country project director is Professor Joaquim Pocas Martins, professor
of water resources and environmental management at the University of Porto.
Professor Martins was previously secretary of state for the environment for
Portugal and had worked closely with the NATO partner country project director,
professor Arcadie Capcelea who was then minister of the environment in Moldova.
Professor Capcelea was recently replaced as project director by Professor Gheorge
Dulca, the current minister of environment in Moldova. The NATO consultant to
the project is Dr Tim Lack of WRc who has extensive experience of working in
Moldova and eastern Europe.
In collaboration with the Ministries of the Environment for Moldova, Ukraine
and Romania, Professor Martins and Dr Lack drew up specification for the project
to install and commission two monitoring stations on the Prut and two on the
Nistru. Data derived from the system is transmitted to a central monitoring
and logging site in the capital Chisinau and relayed to the centres in the Ukraine
An invitation to tender was made to a selection of international companies
specialising in water quality monitoring and after a full financial and technical
assessment Phoenix Instrumentation was awarded the contract.
The project involved the design, build, delivery, installation and commissioning
of the stations which comprise the following elements:
- a drop-down environmen-tally controlled glass reinforced plastic (GRP) building,
- a six-parameter monitoring system with sampler,
- the sample acquisition system,
- logging and re-transmission system.
Each station incorporates automatic cleaning of sensors and sample lines with
compressed air and biocide. Although initially configured to measure only six
parameters (dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, turbidity, temperature and river
level) the stations have been designed to accommodate additional parameters,
such as ammonia and organic pollution, at a later date.
Acknowledging the long-term nature of this project, NATO has committed additional
resources for local training and a spares and support programme that will give
high levels of valid data.
As Moldova is landlocked the systems are being transported by road in a flat
pack form and Phoenix engineers will be on hand to supervise delivery and commence
the installation and commissioning. The objective is to complete the whole programme
in the first week of November 2001 before the adverse winter conditions set
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