The department of environmental pollution monitoring and forecasting of the Institute of Hydrometeorology has a rich history. Its establishment has been stipulated by the objective reality, in particular, by the environment facilities pollution increase due to fast processes of industrialization. Main operation areas of the department are: observations over atmospheric air, surface waters and soil, carrying-out of the corresponding researches and forecasting of the future state. Under present-day conditions, this situation is even more acute.
Based on this fact, the effective operation of the department of environmental pollution monitoring and forecasting assumes a greater importance and becomes a top-priority direction of the Institute’s activity.
In 2022-2026 the department plans to implement such important projects as: study of PM2.5 and PM10 particles pollution of the atmospheric air of Georgian cities Kutaisi and Zestafoni through experimental measurement and numerical modeling using a high resolution grid; assessment of the current ecochemical state of the Chiatura municipality soils and surface waters and elaboration of relevant recommendations; study of Western Georgia domestic and industrial waste waters effect on climate change and surface waters hydrochemistry; development of the vocabulary-reference book containing unified terms and explanations on basics of ecology.
Extension and introduction of biological studies is among top-priorities for the department that has been facilitated by the equipment purchased thanks to the project financed by the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation. The department gives special attention to the nurturing of the young personnel, to their involvement in current operations and their professional level increase. Several doctoral theses and publication of several monographs prepared by the department employees; their participation in various projects and international conferences, as well as works published in top-rated journals are the best examples of all the above mentioned.
From a present-day perspective, the natural environment ecosystems (atmospheric air, surface waters, soil and vegetable cover) as research subjects will remain unchanged, while the study area will be extended, in particular:
Problems related to atmospheric air. It is important to improve the existing technique and to introduce the new methods according to the best world current practices.
It is essential, as well to single out those theoretical studies, application of which became possible thanks to some re-equipment of the Institute and attraction of young specialists. These researches are based on the study and forecasting of the state of atmospheric air polluting components using the mathematical numerical methods. The correct forecasting makes it possible to establish extremal pollution spots in the country, i.e. to reveal “hot spots”.
Development of the mathematical models of the environment conditions at the territory of Georgia and general assessment of the ecological status by their means have been among the main directions of scientific studies conducted over the last period. As a result, 5 mathematical models, numerical implementation algorithm and computer programs have been developed.
Study of hazardous hydrometeorological phenomena and ecological processes under climate change conditions at the territory of Georgia, through improvement of mathematical models and creation of change forecasting methods is a main direction of scheduled researches. The problem will be studied holistically - through simultaneous use of mathematical and field monitoring methods. The newest models of atmospheric and ecological processes elaborated in Georgia and abroad, as well as special experimental measurement data and the National Environmental Agency database will be taken into account. A special attention will be paid to extra-high resolution numerical models (in case of putting a super computer into operation that is planned in Georgia).
Problems related to surface waters. This environmental medium needs a particular attention from ecologists, since in distinction from atmospheric air, water can’t be cleaned so fast and its pollution has a harmful effect even at the long distances. Therefore, acquisition of quantitative data is not sufficient, and it is important to establish the toxic compound forms, as far as exactly the form of existence determines the toxicity level of one or another compound. Calculation of transboundary transfers using the mathematical numerical models is scheduled. Models adopted for different emergency situations, which will be put into operation if required, have to be created for main rivers of Georgia.
Problems related to soils. Soil as the agricultural resource is one of the most important wealth of Georgia. Soil degradation due to man-induced impact proceeds much faster. Its final result is a reduction of agricultural lands, that significantly deteriorates the socioeconomic status of population. Georgia is a land-poor country that is why a restoration of degraded soils fertility, along with other environmental measures has to be considered as a priority area. It is necessary to carry out remediation measures; to elaborate recommendations and outline measures for polluted soils rehabilitation, which foresee soil degradation mitigating actions. As a result, a pure soil will be preserved that makes it possible to grow ecological clean products and, respectively, to protect humans health.
In this regard, the department studies the arsenic pollution in the region of Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, where arsenic ore mining, processing and arsenic-containing compounds manufacturing took place over the decades. As of today, the both ore deposits are mothballed (temporarily closed down) and there is no more arsenic production there, but the problems related to polluted soils remains anyway for future generations. So, the study of arsenic pollution of natural waters, soils and food products is of great importance, since it will allow us to draw conclusions on effect of residual arsenic sources still existing in the region on the ecosystems, ecological conditions of food products and the local population health. The brand new technology of arsenic polluted soils phytoremediation will be created for the first time for mountainous region with the purpose of soil remediation and increase of its fertility. The relevant recommendations will be elaborated.
Chiatura municipality is one of the hotspots of Georgia in terms of ecological conditions, proceeding from this fact the main object of our future researches is represented by manganese pollution focuses at the territory of the municipality, which will be studied in details and their effect on ecosystems, food products and population health will be established. Special consideration will be given to:
· integrated assessment of land resources;
· elaboration of adaptation measures and recommendations, which will promote minimization of land resources degradation and pollution.
The department is staffed by the corresponding personnel, namely 2 doctors of sciences and 10 academic doctors, including 3 young PhD students, for accomplishment of target goals.
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION MONITORING AND FORECASTING