The recently constructed Buvilla reservoir is the main water supply for the town of Tirana and its suburbs. In 2001 the water had for a short period a bad smell and taste, the origin of which could not be determined.Nothing is known about the physics, chemistry and biology of the water of the reservoir, the basis for a successful water management.
The present research project investigates the physics, chemistry and biology of the water, determines the impact on the lake metabolism of the rivers flowing into it, and evaluates the human impact by agriculture and forestry of the belt surrounding the reservoir, with the goal to ensure high quality drinking water. The study aims at producing a first scientific limnological description of the Buvilla reservoir over a 2 to 3 years period, but more important it will provide a planning instrument for the government offices concerned for an ecological management of the lake and the surrounding vegetation belt. Furthermore it will contribute to an integrated environmental understanding in the population living in the watershed area for the care of this important freshwater resource.
The research is carried out in co-operation by groups of scientists from institutes of the University of Tirana and the Agricultural University Tirana, and the Treatment Plant of Drinking Water, Babru, Tirana, the main water supplier of Tirana. The research topic emerged from these local scientists and was developed together with a Swiss group. Many of the participants have collaborated before in a project on heavy metals in Albanian rivers supported by SCOPES 2002-2005. As before the partnership will include training of co-workers and Ph.D. students and foster the research capacity of the different members of the project group.