Environmental monitoring and impact assessment of Prut River cross-border pollution

Environ Monit Assess. 2021 May 15;193(6):340. doi: 10.1007/s10661-021-09110-1.


The cross-border rivers management is a challenge for the involved countries, especially if they do not have the same type of legislation. The negative effects on water quality are quantified by using environmental impact assessment tools. Thus, the quantification of impacts that could affect the human health, ecosystem equilibrium, and biodiversity is based on monitoring of the water quality indicators. An increased attention should be paid to the toxic pollutants resulted from various activities that may affect the aquatic environment and human health on short and long term. This study approaches the cross-border impact assessment of heavy metals, organic, and nutrient pollution in the case of two countries (Romania and Republic of Moldova), the Prut River being the natural border. The methodology considered a specific area of the Prut River on both river sides, based on specific water quality indicators. The studied area covers sampling points from North to South within Iasi County and Republic of Moldova, in the Prut River cross-border section. To assess the pollutants' impacts, the improved Leopold Matrix and the Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix were adapted and applied. The results offered an overview on water pollution level and impacts on the Prut River cross-border area, for the 5-year period (2015-2019). There is a major negative impact generated in the Southern part of the studied area, in the case of the following indicators: copper, selenium, organic substances, with an increased level of pollution recorded in the last 2 years (2018, 2019). The conclusion of this research is that even if both countries follow the international protocols concerning cross-border pollution, they still have to comply to different environmental standards which approach differently the pollution levels and the significant impacts on water quality.

Keywords: Cross-border pollution; Environmental impact assessment; Priority pollutants; Surface water quality.

MeSH terms

  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Metals, Heavy* / analysis
  • Rivers
  • Romania
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical