In Romania the nitrate pollution of the groundwater is a real problem, being included in the list of the vulnerable areas 1963 localities (AREAS VULNERABLE TO NITRATE POLLUTION, LOCALITIES/ Ordin 743/2008). The decision taken in 2013 to align the entire country with the provisions of the Water Framework Directive and the Nitrates Directive has raised a number of challenges for the Ministry of Water and Forests (MAP) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR). National Rural Development Programme (NRDP) and other government funds are available to support a range of activities that will contribute directly or indirectly to the overall reduction of nitrate pollution. However, the eligibility criteria set out in the NRDP 2014-2020 largely exclude subsistence, small-scale farmers, households and communal infrastructure dedicated to animal waste management and the Code of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). This project intended to solve this problem by a large diversity of methods. In the first phase the following measures were implemented: Manure storage and handling systems (about 90 communal platforms and about 1200 individual platforms); Investments in water and sanitation systems; Testing and demonstrating the feasibility of biogas production - Seini, Maramures county; Training on the application of the Code of Good Agricultural Practice; Demonstration seedling planting / afforestation programme (The total area planted with seedlings is 256 ha in 63 communes. The planting programme was completed in spring 2016); Training small farmers in 100 nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZ) in the application of solutions for the disposal of animal waste (4627 trained farmers). In the second phase the implementation of the measures with the goal of reducing nitrate pollution were continued according to the provisions of the Water Framework Directive and the Nitrates Directive. Although this project was not directly funded by EU sources, it was intended to support the introduction of important EU policies. Therefore, such exmples present valuable information on the actual implementation of EU policies in general, applicable to EU funding too.
First phase : 45.95 Million EURO, Second phase: 35 Million EURO For this project Romania received a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a grant from the Global Environment Facility
However the methods applied individually are adequate and correct the integration of the measures can be improved. We recommend for the future, for EU-funded and other projects too:
- integrate the nitrate pollution reduction measures with agricultural practices, for example, promote the extensive livestock farming, which can be integrated in a landscape preservation program and can be combined with the short distribution chain
- for the water sanitation systems offer models for alternative methods, for example reed bed sewage systems, which are suitable for the small villages in the rural areas in Romania
- combine the proposed measures with water management and wetland restoration measures as far these measures are recommended also in the situation of the climate change as buffer zones for water retention and can absorb important quantities of carbon and nutrients.