Draining most of western Russian, the Volga is the largest river in Europe. From its source in the Valdai Hills north east of Moscow the river flows east and south east to the Caspian Sea. A large number of tributaries make up the Volga river system the delta where the river enters the Caspian is composed of hundreds of channels and lies 28 m below sea level.
The project focus is on the Volga river basin which comprises 40% of the population of Russia, 45% of the country’s industry and 50% of its agriculture. Some key facts and figures: -Eighty percent of Caspian Sea river discharge is from the Volga (UNEP); -Two point five billion m3 raw sewage and seven billion m3 treated sewage is discharged into the Volga river annually (Russian Ministry of Environment, 1996);