Water Balance of Prespa Lakes

ArsovMartin Arsov Graduated from the University "St. Cyril and Methodius" of Skopje, Republic of Macedonia and has successfully passed his MPhil viva at Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT), with a thesis entitled "Water Balance of Prespa Lakes". His external examiner was Prof Daniele De Wrachien from the University of Milan, and the internal examiner was Dr Radovan Gospavic.

The objective of this thesis was the study of the water level fluctuations and the catastrophic decline of the water level of the Big Prespa Lake in the last twenty-five years. The Prespa Basin is located in the Balkan Peninsula and it is shared among three neighbouring Countries: Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Greece. The hydrology of the Prespa Lake basin is very complex, consisting of: rainfall-runoff distribution of surface water inflow from the catchment area in the Lake, underground water inflow to the Lake and underground water outflow from the Lake, evapo-transpiration from the catchment area, precipitation on the open lake surface, evaporation from the open lake surface, artificial water outflow mainly for irrigation etc.

Using existing hydro-meteorological data from the catchment areas of the Big and Small Prespa Lakes, (taken from Macedonian, Albanian and Greek hydrometeorologicaI lnstitutions), and through systematization of them and simulation of missing data, as well as water balance calculations of the Big and Small Prespa Lakes in various periods of time, (starting from 1951and finishing in 2008), the possible reasons for water losses were estimated.

By the application of a comprehensive interdisciplinary research programme consisting of complex meteorological and hydrological investigations, including tracer techniques and water balance calculations, supported by numerical modelling, the future assessment and most possible reasons for the water level change of the Prespa Lakes were evaluated. The runoff and specific discharge coefficients for the sub-catchments and whole catchment area in the period from 1961- 2008 were determined. The summary of opinions on the reasons for the decrease of the water level of the Big and Small Prespa Lakes were presented.

Martin gave a comprehensive and clearly prepared presentation on his thesis which was well received by the examiners. As a result of his research both examiners recommended that Martin be awarded the degree of Master of Philosophy.

This research was supported by the NATO Science for Peace Programme.