The Drin (/drn/;[5] Albanian: Drin [dɾin] or Drini [ˈdɾini]; Macedonian: Дрим, romanizedDrim [drim]) is a river in Southeastern Europe with two major tributaries – the White Drin and the Black Drin and two distributaries – one discharging into the Adriatic Sea, in the Gulf of Drin and the other into the Bojana River. Its catchment area extends across Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and North Macedonia[6][7] and is home to more than 1.6 million people.[8] The river and its tributaries form the Gulf of Drin, an ocean basin that encompasses the northern Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast.

Drin delta flowing through Shkodër
RegionSouthern Europe
Physical characteristics
SourceWhite Drin at Zhleb Mountains near Radavc
 • locationKosovo, Peja District
2nd sourceBlack Drin at Lake Ohrid near Struga
 • locationNorth Macedonia, Struga Municipality
Source confluenceNear Kukës
 • locationKukës County, Albania
MouthLarge Drin: Bojana River
Small Drin: Gulf of Drin
 • location
Large Drin: Shkodër County
Small Drin: Lezhë County, Albania
 • elevation
5 m (16 ft)
Length285 km (177 mi)[1][A]
Basin size19,686[2] km2 (7,601 sq mi)
 • locationthe river mouth
 • average352 m3/s (12,400 cu ft/s)[3]
 • maximum1,800[4] m3/s (64,000 cu ft/s)
Basin features
 • leftBlack Drin, Mirusha, Prizren, Toplluha
 • rightWhite Drin, Sateska, Radika, Perro, Bushtrica, White Drin: Peja, Deçan, Erenik, Black Drin: Valbona, Shala, Kir, Mertur
ProgressionAdriatic Sea

At 285 kilometres (177 miles) long,[1][9][10] the Drin is the longest river of Albania and its tributaries cross through both Kosovo and North Macedonia. Its northern tributary, the White Drin starts from the foothills of Žljeb, at White Drin Waterfall in west Kosovo, and flows generally south, whereas its southern tributary, the Black Drin originates from Ohrid lake in the town of Struga, North Macedonia and flows north. Both tributaries' confluence occurs near Kukës in northeast Albania and Drin then flows westwards through the Albanian Alps and Dukagjin Highlands, where three successive dams were erected between 1960s and late 1980s, forming 3 large artificial lakes. The Drin then passes Vau i Dejës and drains into the Adriatic Sea through its two distributaries in Buna river and west of Lezhë.

Located in the Balkan Peninsula at the crossroad of Europe and Asia, the river basin's varied climate and topography have shaped a vast array of flora and fauna. In addition, it has been recognized as one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in Europe.[11][12] The Drin Delta is classified as an Important Bird Area of international importance by designation under the BirdLife International Convention.[13]

Etymology edit

The name of the river is recorded in Ancient Greek as Drilon (Δρίλων) and in Latin as Drinus. The name is considered to be of Illyrian origin.[14] The form Drin- has been evidenced by Pliny the Elder (fl. 1st century AD) and is most likely primary. The ancient name Drinus has undergone sound changes reaching the current Albanian form Drin through the evolution of Albanian sound changes.[15][14] The Macedonian name of the river is Дрим, Drim. Homonym rivers are Drino between southern Albania and northwestern Greece, and Drina between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

Geography edit

Mouth of Drin and Gulf of Drin on the Adriatic coast in northern Albania.

After the confluence of its two tributaries, near the town of Kukës in the northeast Albania, Drin flows west, passing through the Albanian Alps and Fierzë then upon reaching the Dukagjini highlands, flowing then to the south through Apripë e Gurit, Toplanë, Dushman, Koman, Vjerdhë Mazrrek, Rragam, and Pale Lalej. At Vau i Dejës, it enters the low Shkodër Field and splits into two distributaries. One empties into the Gulf of Drin into the Adriatic Sea southwest of Lezhë, forming the Mouth of Drin. The other empties into the Bojana River near the Rozafa Castle.

The Black Drin flows out from the Lake Ohrid near Struga through western North Macedonia and then eastern Albania. The White Drin originates from the Žljeb mountain, north of the town of Peja in the Metohija region of Kosovo, and flows from there through to Albania.[16]

The basin encompasses the transboundary subbasins of Lake Shkodër (largest lake in Southern Europe),[17] Lake Ohrid (one of the most ancient lakes in the World),[18] Lake Prespa and Small Prespa Lake and also the tributaries, namely Black Drin, White Drin and Bojana River. All these subbasins and tributaries are home to numerous species of mammals, vascular plants, insects, amphibians, fish and birds.

Economy edit

Drin river contains the largest hydroelectric power station group in the Balkans regarding the installed capacity and reservoir capacity.[19] The Drin is extremely important for the Albanian economy, especially for its electrical production. The three largest hydropower facilities produce 70.6% of Albania's electricity (approx. 1400MW of total installed capacity). North Macedonia has built two hydropower plants – Globocica (42 MW) and Spilje Hydro Power Plant (84 MW) on the Black Drin. [20]

The artificial Lake Fierza created by the dam at Fierzë is the largest artificial lake in Albania with its surface of 73 km2. The second largest artificial lake is also built on this river. Vau i Dejës lake has an area of 25 km2. Construction of the Fierza power station caused some controversy in the 1980s. Without reaching any agreement, the Albanian government ordered the reservoir to be filled with water, which flooded some border areas of Kosovo, then part of Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav government protested, but no solution was agreed on. Thus, today, Lake Fierza is shared by Albania and Kosovo.[citation needed]

Watershed basin edit

  • Drin
      • Black Drin
        • (L): Balicikë and Jabllanicë streams
        • (R): Dallgash stream
        • Radikë river, Mavrovë and Carakë streams, Zalli i Bulqizës river
          • (L): Banjë, Deshat, Gramë, Tepuz, Veleshicë, Prillushë and Tershan streams
          • (R): Mur, Setë, Mollë and Lurë streams
      • White Drin
        • Lumë river
          • Orgjost and Topojan streams
        • (R): Bistrica e Pejës
        • (R): Bistrica e Deçanit
        • (R): Erenik
        • (L): Bistrica e Prizrenit
        • (L): Mirusha
        • (L): Toplluha, Klinë
        • (L): Istok
    • Valbonë
      • Pecmarë, Vrulla e Shoshanit, Gashi and Tropojë streams
    • Shalë
      • Okol and Shtrazë streams
      • Theth river
        • Kaprej and Maja e Zezë streams
      • Bigë, Gura e Lekajt, Kosan and Shehu i Abatit streams
      • Stupje stream
        • Lesniqe river
    • Nikaj
      • (L): Curraj stream
        • Kuç stream
      • (R): Nikaj stream
    • Gjadër and Kir rivers

History edit

The ancient name of the river was Drilon. The valley of the river was inhabited by several Illyrian peoples. It was probably dominated at some point and to some extent by the Enchele.[21] The tribal territory of the Taulantii and of the Labeatae was most likely located near the river.[22]

Annotations edit

  1. ^
    Author Tom Streissguth, gives a length of 335 km (208 mi) for Drin, as measured from the source of its tributary White Drin.[7] This figure doesn't appear in other reliable sources or textbooks, where Drin's length shows 285 km.

See also edit

Bibliography edit

  • Demiraj, Shaban (2006). The origin of the Albanians: linguistically investigated. Academy of Sciences of Albania. ISBN 9789994381715. Archived from the original on 20 November 2020.
  • Katičić, Radoslav (1976). Ancient Languages of the Balkans. Mouton. ISBN 978-9027933058.
  • Shpuza, Saimir (2017). Dyczek, Piotr (ed.). "Scodra and the Labeates. Cities, rural fortifications and territorial defense in the Hellenistic period". Novensia. 28. Warszawa: Ośrodek Badań nad Antykiem Europy Południowo-Wschodniej: 41–64. ISBN 978-83-946222-5-1. ISSN 0860-5777.

Further reading edit

  • Mala Prosvetina Enciklopedija, Third edition (1985); Prosveta; ISBN 86-07-00001-2
  • Jovan Đ. Marković (1990): Enciklopedijski geografski leksikon Jugoslavije; Svjetlost-Sarajevo; ISBN 86-01-02651-6

References edit

  1. ^ a b Pešić, Vladimir; Milošević, Djuradj; Miliša, Marko (2021). Small Water Bodies of the Western Balkans. Switzerland: Springer Nature. p. 368. ISBN 9783030864781. It is simultaneously the longest river in the country, with a length of 285 km.
  2. ^ Elisabeta Poci. "HYDROLOGY OF THE TRANSBOUNDARY DRIN RIVER BASIN" (PDF). University of Texas at Austin.
  3. ^ Kabo, Mevlan (1990). Gjeografia Fizike e Shqipërisë 1 (in Albanian). Tirana, Albania: Akademia e Shkencave e RPS të Shqipërisë. p. 232. Prurja mesatare shumëvjeçare e Drinit të Zi është 118 m3/sek, e Drinit të Bardhë 68.8 m3/sek, e Drinit (në derdhje në Bunë) 352 m3/sek që i përgjigjet një vëllimi vjetor prej 11.1 miliardë m3 ujë.
  4. ^ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. "ALBANIA".
  5. ^ "Drin".
  6. ^ "Internationally Shared Surface Water Bodies in the Balkan Region".
  7. ^ a b Tom Streissguth (2011). Albania in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7613-6378-1. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Drin Basin". Drin Corda.
  9. ^ Elsie, Robert (2010). Historical Dictionary of Albania. Scarecrow Press. p. 118. ISBN 9780810861886.
  10. ^ Kabo, Mevlan (1990). Gjeografia Fizike e Shqipërisë 1 (in Albanian). Tirana, Albania: Akademia e Shkencave e RPS të Shqipërisë. pp. 231–232.
  11. ^ "The natural wealth and legacy of the Drin River Basin: inspiring our collective actions" (PDF). p. 7.
  12. ^ "Drin River Basin The blue heart of the Balkans" (PDF). p. 4.
  13. ^ BirdLife International. "Drini Delta".
  14. ^ a b Demiraj 2006, pp. 146, 148−149.
  15. ^ Katičić 1976, p. 186.
  16. ^ Klement Tockner; Urs Uehlinger; Christopher T. Robinson (31 January 2009). Rivers of Europe. Academic Press. p. 1156. ISBN 978-0-08-091908-9. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  17. ^ Pesic, Vladimir; Glöer, Peter (2013). "A new freshwater snail genus (Hydrobiidae, Gastropoda) from Montenegro, with a discussion on gastropod diversity and endemism in Skadar Lake". ZooKeys (281): 69–90. doi:10.3897/zookeys.281.4409. PMC 3677384. PMID 23794834. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  18. ^ "Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region". pp. UNESCO. Situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe; Lake Ohrid is a superlative natural phenomenon, providing refuge for numerous endemic and relict freshwater species of flora and fauna dating from the tertiary period. As a deep and ancient lake of tectonic origin, Lake Ohrid has existed continuously for approximately two to three million years.
  19. ^ "Albania Upgrades Electrical Grid in the Balkans".
  20. ^ "Sustainable Nexus solutions for Drin river basin". Balkan Green Energy News. October 5, 2022.
  21. ^ Wilkes, J. J. (1995), The Illyrians, Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing, p. 99, ISBN 0-631-19807-5
  22. ^ Shpuza 2017, p. 43.