Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
7.7 Training (Topic g)
Capacity building in the water (including
wastewater) sector, both at national and local levels, is needed in all
transition countries. The ministries or State agencies, dealing with water and
wastewater and/or education do not always have the capacity to support or
create efficient training programs at the technical and professional level.
Such training very often comes as part of technical assistance and investment
activities of west European countries, North America (in the form of bilateral
co-operation), the European Commission (PHARE and TACIS programmes), different
international environmental foundations and funding agencies, banks, as well as
United Nations, and US EPA. Another type of co-operative training is
established through bilateral arrangements between enterprises, institutions
and municipalities of the transition and Western countries
During the last few years,
most training and education programs at university level have been reviewed and
updated approaching western standards in environmental sciences and
engineering. Now they also cover management issues, legal aspects, monitoring,
assessment and sustainable development. Opportunities for post-graduates to
attend courses at home and at foreign universities were created. Many firms
co-operate with universities and research institutes. The latter are
responsible for theory, whereas national or foreign consultancy firms give
The access to new international research differs between transition countries.
Most of the Accession countries have quite good access to international literature,
they take part in international conferences and have relations to leading research
institutions outside the country or even conducting common projects with them.
The other transition countries, but particular the CIS, face here much more
difficulties. With the exception of Russia, all the other State universities
and colleges of former Soviet Republics have mostly only sporadic access to
international specialised literature, only little contact with acknowledged
international research centres and no financial resources to invite scientists
for lectures or send students somewhere else. The available computer equipment
is very limited and often quite old. Furthermore, many of younger graduated
academics try to get hired by an international company or to work in Western
Europe or in North America to have better professional chances and to earn a
much better salary. The overwhelming part of these young researchers settle
down in the "West" and are "lost" from their own country.
In the last few years private universities and specialised colleges have appeared,
but not in the environmental/water sector.
On the operational level,
specialised training for wastewater treatment plant workers does not always
exist. Normally they follow the normal apprenticeship of an electrician,
plumber or locksmith etc. and get on-the -job training supervised by engineers.
In the CIS, this kind of education concerning "Vodocanal" is provided
by the State, the owner and ruler of the water supply and wastewater network
and treatment plants on a country and regional level.
Often the job efficiency is limited because of insufficient
education, lack of material and chemicals, or break down of equipment. Another
reason of inefficiency is the habit of former times to give as many people as
possible a work place and therefore an income. The state ownership of
wastewater plants continues still with this habit. In areas where the
wastewater plants and related services are privatised the situation has changed
and the market economy took over. Specific training in plant operation, process
control and instrument operation would improve the treatment performance even
with limited resources.
A good example of an
Assession country is Estonia. Here, in 1993, a special post was created in the
Ministry for Environment to co-ordinate and direct environmental education and
training for specialists and promote contacts with other ministries,
universities, schools and the media nationwide.
The training courses cover a wide range of topics including
development of legislation and standards, Environmental Impact Assessment
(EIA), project preparation and management, compliance and enforcement,
reduction of agricultural pollution, wastewater treatment, water protection
etc. Special programmes cover training for chemical laboratory workers, for
staff members of the Ministry for Environment, the Regional Environmental
Departments and other ministries and industry. Most of all these courses were
financed and provided by Western Europe. But also national companies, like the
Estonian Water Company, offer training programmes on water management issues,
including wastewater networks and treatment technologies (EPR., 1996).
The following selection of
universities and institutions is not complete, but indicates some possibilities
for professional training on wastewater management in Central and Eastern Europe.
|Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
||Department of Sciences and Policy;
training in: Wastewater treatment in rural areas, environmental standards
and water quality.
|Technical University Wroclaw, Poland
||Faculty of Environmental Engineering
Training in: water supply/wastewater treatment and solid
|Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic
||Department Environmental engineering
Training in: water engineering and water management
|Technical University Budapest, Hungary
||Department of Water and Wastewater engineering
Training in: water engineering and water management
|Moscow Institute of Physics
and Technology, Moscow, Russia
||Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Ecology
Training in: technologies for waste and sewage treatments