The Ob-Irtysh river basin will become digital

20 november 2019

"The "Digital Ob-Irtysh river basin" project is highly important, and it deserves support. We need to define the conditions for its implementation within the framework of federal projects" - Deputy head of the Analytical Center Mikhail Pryadilnikov addressed the participants of the expert discussion.

The Deputy Governor for economic development of Kemerovo Region Konstantin Vegner reminded that the Ob-Irtysh river basin is the largest in Russia and the third largest in the world, while the Irtysh river is collectively used by Russia, Kazakhstan and China. He explained that the main goal of the project is transition to the government water resources complex management system based on big data.

"System management must be applied to the problem areas, which are hard to to forecast at the moment. This includes the conditions of the environment, increasing the drinking water quality, keeping the rivers navigable, security of riverside structures, construction projects life cycle management, including the Arctic infrastructure" - explained Venger. He added that these issues are critical to social and economic development of 14 regions in Primorye, and solving them will improve the environmental situation for the local citizens.

The project will also have a positive effect on the federal and regional authorities, industrial companies, abstracters, science and hi-tech business, noted the discussion participants.

"Implementation of the project will give us political opportunities to strengthen  Russia's position on the issues of international watercourses, use the water resources rationally and improve the environment. And, of course, one must not forget about the economic effects of use of the river basin for domestic trade" - explained RAVVA deputy chief executive officer Alexander Epstein. Moreover, in his opinion, the experience of digitalizing the Ob-Irtysh river basin can be used for other water bodies.

The project has already undergone preliminary appraisal, and now it is totally ready for implementation. The arrangement of an interregional network of digital water body monitoring sites transmitting information to a united data system must become the first systemic change in the area.

The experts noted that the "Digital Ob-Irtysh river basin" project conforms with the goals of the federal project for digitalization of government administration, and monitoring and supervision activities. But its implementation requires revising several documents for strategic planning.