Water Information Systems in Romania

A significant portion of Romania’s laws on water information systems originates from the directives of the European Union on this subject, such as:

  • Framework Water Directive (2000/60 / CE);
  • Directive concerning the management of bathing water quality (2006/7 / CE) (abrogated by  76/160 / CEE);
  • Directive on underground waters (2006/118 / CE);
  • Directive on flooding (2007/56 / CE);
  • Framework directive for a maritime strategy (2008/56 / CE).
  • EU  Water Policy, 2007
  • Drinking water regulation of 2007(n ° 2)
  • EU  Environmental objectives (surface waters) Regulation 2009 (SI n ° 272 / 2009)
  • EU  Environmental objectives(underground waters) Regulation 2010 (SI n ° 9/ 2010)
  • EU  Regulation (best practices in agriculture for protecting water,) 2010 (SI n ° 610 / 2010)

Usually, the regulations concerning surface waters create a vast array of environmental norms for the surface waters of Romania. The environmental objectives that have to be achieved include rules and threshold values for classifying surface and also underground waters, including rules for protecting underground waters against pollution and degradation.

In order to improve the use of existing data, it is necessary both to improve their interpretation and analysis and also to communicate data to the public and to other users in a clear and understandable fashion, thus improving the quality of information without significant expenses.3

Among the most influential institutions in the development, implementation and management of the Romanian water information system is the European Environmental Agency, which hosts the Water Data Centre and the thematic pages of the Web WISE (Water Information System for European Countries). In addition to the already well-known specifications for managing hydrological risk situations (both floods and droughts), the European Environmental Agency is responsible for two other complementary sectors, connected to the issue of water use:

a.  The bathing water section of the European Water Information System (WISE), available on the EEE bathing water website (http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/water/interactive/bathing/state-of-bathing -Eaux) allows the visualization of bathing water quality for more than 22.000 littoral and inland beaches all across Europe. Data is organized and displayed at national level and at resort level. Detailed information for specific bathing sites are given through pop-up windows (which can be activated by clicking on a bathing site) and hyperlinks which open up pop-up windows containing profiles of bathing waters.

b.      Data on bathing water quality for 2013 and previous years can also be consulted, together with any other data on bathing water. The WISE bathing water data visualization instrument integrates text and graphical representations, allowing quick access to the location of both littoral and inland bathing waters, and providing statistical data on their quality. The specific locations of the bathing waters can be visualized with Google Earth, Google Maps or Bing Maps.

2.pngAdditionally, the INSPIRE geo-portal offers means for researching spatial data series and services for spatial data and imposes restrictions on the access to such data, in order to protect the data series of EU member states within the framework of the INSPIRE directive. Furthermore, in the Black Sea Basin, procedures, transfers, interoperability and data conditions for WISE create a solid technological platform, reliable and already tested for the development of an information mechanism, due to the fact that the above mentioned elements form the basis of any rule and initiative in this field.

In brief, and concerning only Romania, without taking into account the river system of the Black Sea Basin, the gathering and updating of data in the electronic water management system falls within the competence of the national database administered by the National Water Administration Agency ”Apele Romane”, and involves mainly the flood risk maps.

What remains to be done is to go to the heart of our present situation and to present the most important informational resources available today in Romania when it comes to water information systems:

  • The maps of floodplains, including the positions and features of flood protection systems;
  • The GIS map database – necessary for determining and analyzing the environmental impact of hydrological risks, both natural and man-made;
  • Data on existing water information systems, norms/ organizational rules for hydraulic works;
  • Recently finalized or ongoing projects on measures for flood protection – the implementation of the action plan adopted by the short-term strategy.


Contrary to existing flood protection plans, the maps of areas at risk from flooding, drafted under the supervision of the National Water Administration Agency ”Apele Romane”, show with great precision the flooded areas. In certain cases, they prove to be a useful water information instrument, able to provide data on water speed, depth during floods, flow for various surpassing probabilities (0,1%, 1%, 5%, 10%) and data on floods that occur once every 1000, 100 or 20 years.

Once provided for both local and national authorities, GIS products based on data from hydrological risk maps will play a decisive role in

-    determining damage and evacuation areas for the population.

-    reducing expenses, due to the fact that data provided is available for a wide range of environmental parameters.

The first results have been significant. The information regarding Europe (WISE) and the countries of the Black Sea Basin are already available and useful. It is important to remember that the time needed for the recovery of aquatic environments and water table is directly affected by the results of the water initiative and the framework directive on water, which have to be addressed at the first level of interoperability (networks, procedures and data transfer).


  1. Metelka, T., Pryl, K., Suchanek, M., 2010, L’utilisation de la technologie hydro-informatique en Europe centrale et orientale au cours de la dernière décennie. In Novatech 2010, France.
  2. AQUASTAT system : http://www.apipnm.org/swlwpnr/reports/y_nr/z_tr/tr.htm
  3. Slope basin of the Black Sea. Available at: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/water/blanks/assessment/black.pdf
  4. Romanian GIS e-platform. available at www.geo-spatial.org
  5. EUROWATERNET and Waterbase, European Environmental Agency. Available at: http://edz.bib.uni-mannheim.de/daten/edz-bn/eua/04/Eurowaternet_final_low_res.pdf
  6. The international DHI group for the MIKE URBAN Project – mikebydhi.com/Products/Cities/MIKEURBAN.aspx
  7. The European Commission website for the environment/ Water section – water.europa.eu
  8. Website of the Danube FLOODRISK Project – www.biodiversity.ro/atlas
  9. European website for water information at a national level– floods.jrc.ec.europa.eu/national-water-level-information.html
  10. Official website of the National Water Administration Agency ”Apele Romane” -  www.rowater.ro
  11. UN Environmental Program – The Black Sea : http://www.unep.org/regionalseas/programmes/nonunep/blacksea/
  12. WIS for Europe:  http://water.europa.eu/

Article written by Gabriela Moroșanu and translated by Mihail Mitoșeriu.

Despre autor
Studentă în anul II Master, specializarea Climatologie și Resurse de Apă, Facultatea de Geografie, Universitatea din București
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