“Analysis of selected possible impacts of potential E40 Inland Waterway development in Belarus and Ukraine on hydrological and environmental conditions of neighbouring rivers and wetlands” was conducted in March 2019. Authors analyze the main impacts of possible development of E40 Inland Waterway on selected physiographical elements of the environment of adjacent valleys and wetlands.
Analysis addresses the exposure of E40 Waterway to prospective climatic changes and associated hydromorpological pressures. It also studies the influence of the possible E40 development on the most important environmental hotspots which are Olmany mire and Pripyatsky National Park. Results of analyses allow to state that one could expect significant influence and adverse effects of climatic change effects on availaibilty of water for the navigation purposes along E40 in the following 50 years. The navigation along E40 Waterway will be exposed to severe changes of flow regime and is likely to be facing inrregularity of hydrological fenomena of Pripyat, Pina and Dnieper.
Development of E40 will likely pose high risk of degradation hydromorphology of the most natural stretches of Pripyat in Pripyatsky National Park. It was also defined that selected habitats of the Olmany mires will be exposed to the risk of the loss of water that will likely result in a regional groundwater supply.
Another risk is the exposure of inland navigation along the planned E40 Waterway to radiation from the reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Although the navigation is likely to be possible along the Belarus-Ukraine stretch of E40, environmental impacts related to the river maintenance are likely to affect the subjects of protection of Prypiatsky National Park and Olmany mire and – in general – negatively affect the environment.