River Elbe:Pre-Feasibility Study on Environmental Pollution of River Elbe, Czech Republic
The main purpose of this study was to collect, summarize and evaluate the findings of all relevant existing yet isolated studies pertaining to the environmental situation in the catchments area of the river Elbe, which covers almost three quarters of the territory of the Czech Republic.
Apart from the actual review process, it was also necessary to prepare an ecological inventory of the area of investigation by performing a field studies and measurement programme which encompassed both the spatial distribution and quantification of sources of pollution concentrating on approx. 50 major areas or sites of point pollution. Where further information was required, this was gathered by means of special questionnaires.
The outcome of the study was the formulation of an environmental priority action programme which serves to control and reduce the present pollution of the river Elbe and its tributaries as well as achieve an overall decrease in the level of pollutant emissions within the defined zone. This action programme furnishes a decision basis for a future-oriented, comprehensive concept for investment schemes together with appropriate accompanying measures.
In doing so it pays particular regard to the given administrative, institutional and legislative framework on the one hand and the limited financial means available to implement the schemes on the other. The development of economic and financial costs and benefits in respect of the different schemes and the recommendation of efficient structures for effecting, monitoring and controlling the adopted measures therefore assumed major significance.
The specific components covered by the company's Economics and Development Planning Department were to review existing and on-going studies and investment programmes, analyse the effects of the recommended environmental protection measures on the national economy, elaborate the optimum investment programmes from an economic point of view, as well as to develop and assess the main instruments of economic policy for supporting the implementation of the selected environmental protection measures.
The economic evaluation of the recommended programme of measures (estimated total cost: € 3.3 billion) was performed, on the basis of the capital investment on the one hand and the standard recurrent costs on the other, by means of cost effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses. With regard to the financing of the measures adopted it was necessary to investigate, in particular, experiences gained from previous projects currently in the stage of execution and the significance of the measures in terms of the funding available on a national level (i.e. gross domestic product/GDP, inflow of financial resources from environmental fund, other instruments of economic policy).