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Local training course for water professionals – in St. Petersburg

18 June, 2021 - 16:15

This is a very important year in the BSR WATER life: the year when over a hundred of water management practices can be browsed through in the Water Hub, while the outputs designed to influence the regional policies come to life. The policy recommendations for integrated stormwater management are already published, HELCOM’s recommendation 23/5 on reduction of discharges from urban areas, revised with the input from BSR WATER, has been adopted, and the Pallet of solutions for nutrient recycling, which will benefit HELCOM’s Regional Nutrient Recycling Strategy, is being layouted as we type. Now, how can we disseminate it all to the stakeholders?

Webinars and online workshops, certainly. Final conference, of course. But at the pre-corona start of the platform, BSR WATER had very ambitious travelling plans, for which we needed to find a perfect substitute. Learning from the experiences of the participating projects, the platform partners now launch local dissemination events.

Training course for local experts

The training course “Management of Water Resources in Urbanised Areas” has been launched by the platform partners SC "Mineral" and ECAT-Kaliningrad, with support from the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission, to be organised as a 2-module training for local water professionals. The first module was organised in St. Petersburg on 7–10 June 2021.

Altogether 45 people took part in the training, including representatives of the water utilities in St. Petersburg, Leningrad region, and the Kaliningrad region cities Chernyakhovsk and Baltiysk. Moreover, the training hosted local authorities: the Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety of St. Petersburg, the Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture of St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad city administration, and several expert organizations working with the urban water ecosystems.

The first module was focused on the stormwater management, highlighting the revised HELCOM Recommendation 23/5 on reduction of discharges from urban areas by the proper management of storm water systems, and the upcoming reporting on it. Local excellence cases were brought by the cities of Helsinki and Riga. In the module, special attention was on the adaptation of wastewater systems to the climate change.

The module involved several site visits: excursion to the Western High-Speed ​​Diameter, where the participants got acquainted with the applied solutions for the management and treatment of stormwater at a large-scale infrastructure facility. The visit to the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant emphasized practices on efficient wastewater management, showcasing a sludge incineration plant and surface runoff treatment facilities in the Pulkovo airport area. Speakers from the SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg” (associated partner of BSR WATER) presented applied technologies, existing challenges and introduced solutions, which are being implemented at the city's facilities.

For another study visit, module participants visited the Flood protection complex of St. Petersburg, learning about the surface runoff treatment system.

As an interactive part of the training, cross-sectoral multi-stakeholder game was organised to increase the cooperation spirit. The modern participatory tool, the business game "Water resources management in urbanized areas – If I were the decision-maker!" involves stakeholders in the process of integrated environmental management of the coastal areas. The game provided a unique opportunity for the experts in their own sectors to realize the importance of the cross-sectoral and especially the ecosystem approach in planning.

The participants of the training module also joined the BSR WATER online summer conference that focused on the best practices in the city of Gdansk.

As a result of the first module, the training participants were awarded with the certificates for the professional program "Management of Water Resources in Urbanised Areas". The second module of the training will take place in Kaliningrad in September 2021, tailored to bring up local excellence and relevant stakeholders, to introduce the Pallet of solutions and other BSR WATER results.