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Present status


Most pollutants for surface Skadar/Shkodra Lake's water, groundwater, soil and air originate from Podgorica, situated on the Morača River terraces in the Zeta Plain. On the Albanian side the main polluter is the City of Shkodra with its solid waste and wastewater. The main sources of pollution are:
• The Aluminium Plant Podgorica (KAP);
• Steelworks in Niksic;
• Wastewater from the cities and towns in the basin;
• Municipal wastes from the cities and towns in the basin.

During the past three decades the lake and its basin have experienced varying states of pollution. A well defined pollution trend for the basin as a whole is difficult to stablish
on the basis of the fragmented and inconsistent data sets. Also, water quality in the lake varies in space and time. Most pollutants are brought by the Morača and Crnojevića Rivers that are common places of disposal for poorly treated solid waste and wastewater. The concentration of pollutants like ammonia is high in the northern and north-western part of the lake and near the entry points of the Moraca. Further, the concentrations of pollutants show seasonal variation, depending upon the weather and the flow in the tributary rivers. For example, the dissolved oxygen is lower in the summer period. During peak flows, the Morača River water influences most the water quality of the lake.
In general, the quality of the lake water appears to be reasonably good, thanks to the high refreshment rate of 2-3 times per year. However, lake sediment and dry soil quality in some locations is a concern.

Trend in PCBs and PAHs

Concentrations of PCB in surface waters were above the permitted limit in the Moraca River between 1990 and 1995. Recent measurements of PCB and PAH concentrations are below the detection limit and are currently no reason for concern for surface water quality (as long as the measures taken by KAP remain effective). In the groundwater and sediments these parameters were reason for concern. The values measured in 2005 decreased to acceptable levels, probably due to the measures taken at the KAP.
In the dry soils of the Zeta Plain PCB and PAH show concentrations harmful for biota.

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