Transboundary Cijevna River Basin is shared by two countries, upstream Albania and downstream Montenegro. Generally, Cijevna is one of the most important rivers for Montenegro, not because of its river flow but because of its water quality and principal role in recharging of aquifers used as a main source for water supply in entire Skadar basin, which is the largest in Montenegro.
Sustainable transboundary water management is one of the highest priorities of the two countries, what is confirmed by signing of bilateral Water Management Agreement, in July 2018. Development and implementation of this Agreement have to be the key point of the established cooperation in transboundary water management. Implementation of ESPOO Convention, Helsinki Convention, as well as Water Framework Directive of the European Union, and other connected water by-laws are all part of signed agreement, and found to be a substance of integrated water resources management on a transboundary level. This Agreement consider that envisaged activities in one country with possible impacts on another, should be subject of discussion between countries, based on scientifically prepared basic data.
The Cijevna River Basin has been previously emphasized as a priority basin for integrated water management within frame of the international GEF funded Dinaric Karst Transboundary Aquifer System project (“DIKTAS”), and its Strategic Action Program (SAP). Basically, within entire transboundary Cijevna River basin the limestone rocks are dominant, and karst and fluvio-glacial groundwater are abundant. An active hydraulic connection between surface and groundwater in this basin is a sensitive factor: Any undertaken works or river training may cause negative implications on groundwater regime, as well as water quality. Currently limited investigation and monitoring of groundwater in this basin have to be improved which will offer an opportunity to develop model for sustainable transboundary water use. Design and establishment of new groundwater monitoring network within the Cijevna transboundary river basin, which should include “early warning system”, and results of new investigations, should enable a base for further negotiations between countries, strategical planning and development of Integrated Water Resources Management. If would result with success, such an approach may be widely used for promoting efficient water management in sensitive karstic areas.