The sustainable management of river basins is a comprehensive problem involving not only environmental quality but also socio-economic aspects. The primary objective of the study is to propose a sustainable management model of a river basin based on a clear identification of the good water quality in the river basin applicable for any river basin. The proposal is based on a monitoring of the quality of surface water in the basin, a quantitative and qualitative analysis of pollution, a questionnaire survey on the sewer systems and wastewater treatment in the basin and the diffuse sources of water pollution. For a better outline, a case study of Hornád river basin, Slovakia, was carried out. Two methodologies were applied: SWOT analysis for identification of indicators and the priorities and AHP analysis for a prioritization of the decisions. These analyses can be carried out for any activity based on identification of indicators and the priorities of the defined indicators to promote sustainable development. Based on the findings and the results of the analyses the model for managing the development of surface water quality in the basin was proposed. Generally applicable principles of sustainable development, accepting legislation in the field of water management, considering the quality of surface water in the basin, the impacts of wastewater discharges into the recipient, the identification and evaluation of positive and negative aspects of surface water quality, and the implementation of the proposed measures and post-implementation monitoring of qualitative development were covered in and by the proposed model.
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