Development of data-modelling system and the decision support tool for the integrated marine and inland water management

Project facts

Project promoter
Estonian Environmental Research Centre
Project Number:
Target groups
Civil servants/Public administration staff
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 2,107,482
The project is carried out in:

More information


Project is necessary to strengthen capability of management of inland waters and coastal waters. The objective of the project is to develop data-modelling system and the decision support tool for the integrated marine and inland water management for use of institutions related to water management in Estonia. The outcome of the project is a decision support tool for water policy planning and implementing and more specifically main output is a modelling system for inland water and coastal water management. Target groups of the project are the MoE (making decisions for designing water policy), Environmental Board (issuing environmental permits, making decisions), Estonian Environmental Agency (national and international reporting), the Environmental Inspectorate (monitoring), Agricultural Board, Health Board, Estonian Environmental Research Centre, local governments, water enterprises, public and other persons in need of water-related information. Donor partner is Bioforsk (during the project Bioforsk changed its name to NIBIO- Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research) and role of the donor partner is to consult and cooperate with Estonian experts. Partnership will achieve better understanding of the use of modelling as perspective tool.

Summary of project results

The principle of organising water economy based on catchment areas is an internationally recognised approach that deduces from principles of integrated management of water resources. For the integrated management of sea and inland surface waters, water-related data have to be used in an integrated and related manner, changing of data in the future should be evaluated and forecasted, as well as decisions made for obtaining measures based on their expected performance and cost efficiency. A system that enables using different models, modelling processes and applications and inquiries related to sea and inland surface water was the general objective of the project and such system was created. In the long-term perspective, the results of the project help to realise the protection of water bodies and improving the availability of data related to water bodies, incl. its status, load and measures. As a final result of the project, an integrated system with several models and applications was established, that enables the main users to simplify their work tasks and make them more efficient, based on functional inquiries, in relation to evaluations and information that are needed for knowing the water status, the load on the water environment and the impact of measures. The direct positive results of the project for the main beneficiaries: - time on compiling and submitting reports related to EU and other international organisations decreases (reduction of labour costs is expected to decrease by 25-50%) - reduction of outsourced services costs, during which evaluations are given on the performance of requirements related to EU and other international organisations (decrease of expenses estimated 30 000-50 000 euros per year) - increased level of precision of requirements on special permits on the use of water and the expected performance - the possibility to introduce potentially harmful environmental users who endanger environmental aims increases and thereby the performance of environmental monitoring activities increases

Summary of bilateral results

The experts from NIBIO assisted in the data acquisition, parameterization, assessment and testing of the selected models. Also they assisted in the calibration and validation of the selected models, and helped to evaluate their applicability in the Estonian integrated marine and inland water management. The Norwegian experts trained and consulted Estonian experts in identifying candidate models on water runoff and nutrient losses from agricultural areas in specific, and transferability to the river basin scale in general. The Experts from NIBIO attended in the work of the workgroup of dynamic models and the work of the workgroup was lead by them. They assisted and cooperated with Estonian experts in identifying required input data for the work of selected models and defined management-relevant outputs from the selected models. The partership has stengthened the relationship between Estonia and Norwegian experts and also between the decisionmakers of the both countries. During the project several good ideas for further cooperation and for the next projects together for the future were worked out. Together with Norwegian partner (NIBIO) trainings of Estonian experts were arranged in Norway and two groups of experts attended the studytour to Norway and had practical demonstrations on: - filling potential data gaps - modeling solutions used in Norway, their evaluation and presentation - the selection of mitigation measures and setting up of related information management systems - overview of collecting monitoring data During the studytours Estonian experts and specialists from Environmental Board, Environmental Ministry and Environmental Agency of Estonia had fruitful meetings with their Norweigan colleagues during which the problems of efficiant watermanagement were discussed.