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Final Report Summary - PREWARC (Strategic plan for prevention of regional water resources contamination from mining and metallurgical industries in western Balkan countries)

The western Balkans peninsula is rich in natural mineral resources and the associated mining and metallurgical activities have generated significant pollution loads that mainly affect surface and groundwater reservoirs. The PREWARC project addressed the environmental pollution problems of the mining and metallurgy sectors in order to develop an integrated strategic plan, which included proposals for feasible technological improvements and viable industrial waste management options. Therefore, progress towards the protection of natural water resources was attained.

More specifically, the project objectives were to:

1. collect and manage information regarding regional natural water resources' contamination from mining and metallurgical industries in selected western Balkan counties
2. propose feasible preventive and remedial technologies that were already installed and run in European countries facing the same or similar environmental problems
3. disseminate relevant knowledge to familiarise the regional scientific community with the proposed innovations
4. assist scientists and national authorities towards economic growth through sustainable development and management of natural resources.

The project participants firstly analysed the collected data and then identified best available technologies. An integrated strategic plan was subsequently developed, based on the up to date PREWARC findings and the organisation of two workshops in the participating countries during the second year of the project. Among the workshop members were industry representatives, members of the educational community and local and national authorities. The events' outcome contributed to the finalisation of the project proposal towards the industry. Apart from the strategic plan, dissemination activities included the development of a project website, which helped to increase awareness of the local communities and decision makers, as well as press publications.

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