White Drin

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White Drin
Drini i Bardhë
Beli Drim (Бели Дрим)
Waterfall at the mouth of the White Drin river
White Drin basin
Origin Žljeb mountain, north of Peć, Kosovo
Mouth with Black Drin forms the Drin, at Kukës, Albania
42°5′30″N 20°23′41″E / 42.09167°N 20.39472°E / 42.09167; 20.39472Coordinates: 42°5′30″N 20°23′41″E / 42.09167°N 20.39472°E / 42.09167; 20.39472
Basin countries Kosovo[a], Albania
Length 175 km (109 mi)
Avg. discharge 56 m3/s (2,000 cu ft/s)
Basin area 4,964 km2 (1,917 sq mi)
White Drin river and its canyon

The White Drin (Albanian: Drini i Bardhë; Serbian: Бели Дрим or Beli Drim; Turkish: Akdrin) is a river in Kosovo[a] and northern Albania, a 175-kilometre (109 mi)-long headstream of the Drin.



The Kosovar section of the White Drin flows entirely in the semi-karst Metohijan part of Kosovo, in an arc-shaped 156-kilometre (97 mi)-long course. The river originates in the southern slopes of the Žljeb mountain, north of the town of Peć. The stream is originally a sinking river which eventually springs out from the strong well and falls down as a 25-metre (82 ft)-high waterfall named the White Drin Waterfall near the village of Radovac.

The White Drin first flows to the east, next to the spa of Pećka Banja, and the villages of Banje, Trbuhovac and Zlakućan, where it receives the Istočka river from the left and turns to the south. The rest of the course is through the very fertile and densely populated central section of Metohija (Podrima region), but oddly, there is not even one large settlement on the river itself, despite many smaller villages on the river. The largest cities are kilometers away from the river (Peć, Đakovica, Prizren) whilst some smaller towns (Klina) and large villages (Velika Kruša, Đonaj) are closer to it. The White Drin also creates the small White Drin Canyon in Kosovo.

The White Drin receives many relatively long tributaries: Pećka Bistrica, Dečanska Bistrica, Prue potok, and Erenik from the right; Istočka, Klina, Miruša, Rimnik, Topluga and Prizrenska Bistrica from the left.

The Kosovar part of the White Drin basin comprises 4,360 km2 (1,680 sq mi). Here the waters of the river are used for waterworks of the big nearby towns, irrigation and power production (especially its right tributaries). At the Vrbnica-Shalqin border crossing, the river enters the eastern Albanian region of Trektan.


The Albanian section of the river is 19 km (12 mi) long with the drainage area of 604 km2 (233 sq mi). There are no settlements on the river and it receives the Lumë river from the left (which also originates in Metohija, from several rivers in the Gora region). Finally, the White Drin reaches the town of Kukës where it meets the Black Drin and forms the Drin, which flows into the Adriatic Sea; thus the White Drin belongs to the Adriatic Sea drainage basin. The river is not navigable.

The entire Albanian section (and part of the Kosovan) is flooded by the artificial Fierza lake (see Drin controversy).

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.