Deteriorating Riverbanks of Daugava

Many riverbanks along the Daugava River in Latvia are starting to crumble, with meters of land slowly sinking underwater due to harsh weather and a change in water levels. Latvenergo dedicates 850,000 LVL a year to try and save the banks, but it looks like this just isn’t enough.

The state company, Vides Projekti, has been responsible for looking after the riverbanks, but the financial situation in the second quarter of 2012 has brought this to a halt. In the very beginning of the year, Latvenergo noticed that 700,000 LVL of the money allocated to the project had already disappeared, with nothing to show for it. Now, the Latvian centre for environment, meteorology and geology will be held responsible for the restoration of the riverbanks, although they cannot say exactly what will be done or how, and neither can the Ministry’s Commission on Environmental Protection.  The deputy chief of the centre, Inita Stikute, claims that she has only been informed that this job has been given to the centre, and not what will actually be done. She claims: “when we receive all the required documentation, we will start developing a plan of action. I am certain we can handle this. We only need to organise the works, we will not be assessing and digging everything ourselves”.

Unfortunately, there is only enough funding to prevent further damage, and there are currently not enough resources available to fix most of the damage that has already been done. Reinforcing the riverbanks is extremely expensive and can only temporarily slow down the damage.

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