Foondova V., Bondar O., Tsvetayeva O.

Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University


In the past Dnipro was clean and had a stable ecosystem. It functioned well for millennia and fed millions of people. Famous ancient Greek historian and a large geographer of antiquity Herodotus, which lived in the V century BC, wrote about the Borysfen, so then called contemporary Dnipro: “The Borysfen has most beautiful and most luxurious pasture for cattle, excellent fish in large numbers. And water is very tasty and clean…”. He acknowledged that “the biggest and the richest river among of all rivers of the world, except the Egyptian of the Nile”. This was our Dnipro in the past.

 However years passed, the world changed, new technologies and inventions have appeared which with every century more and more harm to the environment. And certainly people are changed together with the world. Today, all of the above continues to develop in the better way. Only the nature around us is changing in a completely different direction including Dnipro. It is the main waterway of Ukraine. Its significance in formation and development of the Ukrainian nation, social production and the natural environment of the country can not be overestimated. However, its ecological status is of concern to scientists and the population itself.

 The ecologists note that the economic objects increase water use without regard to economic and ecological consequences for Ukraine in the basin of Dnipro for decades. According to scientists using water quality is about 50% for technological needs. Nearly 90% these costs can met through the reuse of water in systems for industrial and communal water supply. Water losses are 10-20% during transportation, improper use of in human life – about 20% in the industry – 20-30%.

But water management is by far not a solitary one and not the most major problem the ecosystem of Dnipro. So the processes of transition Dnipro in lake of system can be seen now. First of all it is caused by the construction of dams and flooding of thresholds. To date there are six reservoirs of Dnipro cascade that during its existence significantly worsened condition adjoining territories. So level of ground water increased, soil salinization intensified, the volume of underground runoff increased almost to ten times, and with this – the level of contamination of groundwater. The concentration of radionuclides is constantly increasing in the bottom sediments of Dnipro, especially in the Kiev reservoir. The concentration of iron, cyanide, chloride, chromium, cobalt, lead, zinc, phenols, petroleum products increases quickly in waters and mules Dnepropetrovsk and Dneprodzerzhinsk reservoirs. An estimated loss from flooded Dnipro of floodplain is about 18 billion dollars annually, while profit from all six GES Dnipro cascade is only 25-28 million dollars a year. Therefore we need to much strain the imagination so as to explain the fact construction on Dnipro such an abundance of hydroelectric power stations. Also important is not just, what died productive floodplain biocenoses, but also that largely Dnipro lost the ability to clean itself. It was significantly complicated problem of obtaining quality drinking water at water stations.

Also, chemical pollution damages Dnipro basin. This is caused by the intensive development of industry, agriculture, urbanization and the development of the transport network in the river basin. Despite some decline in production, anthropogenic load remains high and water quality is not improving in Dnipro River. 900,000 tons of pollutants arrives with sewage to water basin. Around 5,000 objects of preservation useless pesticides and agrochemicals accrued, which are located preferably in rural areas of Ukraine. 1310 polygons and other places of storage or burial wastes situated in the Ukrainian part of Dnipro basin. There are also 161 objects of placement toxic waste. There bring the materials which contain toxic substances in concentrations which exceed maximum allowed value more than 50 times. State purification communal wastewater is unsatisfactory and increases due to an emergency state of nets and frequent accidents.

Almost all Ukrainian guilty in yet another our painful problem. This is the ecological pollution of Dnipro. It is conveys difficult on the words even how many today polyethylene packets, bottles, synthetic packs, glasses swims in river water. No matter where people resting in the season, they leave after themselves household and food waste everywhere. Needless to even imagine, that this is on the bottom the river.

Also the situation in Dnipro basin complicated by a significant level of develop­ment erosion processes and destruction of the coast. Plowing a catchment area reached 65% and in Kherson region and some basins of small rivers – 80-85%. While optimal level is 40%. Wooded territory of basin reaches 14% on average. While optimal level is 30%. The area of eroded land increased by 28%, and the total content of humus in the soil decreased by 10% in just the last 25 years. Products of erosion fall in water objects and lead to their pollution with organic compounds, mineral fertilizers, particularly nutrients – by nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as to siltation.

Building of cascade reservoirs caused changes migratory ways and reducing populations of many valuable species of fish. Reclamation activities in Polissya caused a significant change in the natural characteristics of the basin of the ecosystem. Against this background, a significant depletion biodiversity occurred in Polissya. There a number of native species, including 31 species of vascular plants and nearly 20 species of terrestrial mammals, was lost. Nearly 80% of natural ecosystems have been lost in Dnipro basin. Now Dnipro keeps its natural state only on small areas that connect the reservoir.

These problems the natural state of Dnipro basin are major and more important. They need paramount solution. But from this we can be concluded that ecological status of Dnipro is catastrophic. To date not only Ukrainian organizations and international organizations take part in addressing environmental problems of Dnipro. There are the International Development Research Centre, the Global Environment Facility, United Nations Development Programme. Also recently more and more concerned Ukrainian to ecological state of Dnipro basin exhibit own initiative to improve the ecosystem of the river. We should care not only about ourselves but about the fate of our posterity that will live in the country, we are building for them now!