Completion of the EU-Supported Modernisation of Water and Wastewater Network in Subotica, Serbia

Completion of the EU-Supported Modernisation of Water and Wastewater Network in Subotica, Serbia


Serbia’s northern city of Subotica is now equipped with a modern water and wastewater network and facilities thanks to a decade-long engineering endeavour supported through a grant by the European Union and the WBIF Bilateral Donors under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and a loan by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The completion of the project was marked with a stakeholders’ visit today to the new water treatment plant, which will improve water supply and ensure sufficient quantities of quality drinking water. This makes Subotica one of the first cities in Serbia with modern water and wastewater infrastructure in line with EU standards.

Through the WBIF project the construction of collectors to make better use of the capacity of the existing plant has been provided, as well as support for the project preparation, tendering procedure and supervision for the construction of the collectors.

In addition, a feasibility study has been prepared for the construction of a sanitary landfill and a composting plant to help with the management of increasing quantities of sludge from the newly constructed wastewater treatment plant. The overall value of the project is €24.6 million financed through the WBIF Bilateral Donors' investment grant of just over €2 million, a €11 million loan from the EBRD, plus a beneficiary contribution.

The new network improves the quality of water supply, wastewater disposal and treatment services in Subotica. It also allows the city with a population of 140,000 to connect around 12,000 more citizens to the sewerage network, bringing coverage up to 60 per cent of the population. The improved wastewater treatment system also prevents the pollution of Lake Palić, one of the top five tourist destinations in Serbia and located on the outskirts of Subotica. In addition, the new system has the technological capacity to produce energy from waste and currently produces 25 to 40 per cent of its total energy needs.

Mr Martin Klaucke, EU Delegation to Serbia, Operations Section: 'This is another milestone for Serbia to become greener and to protect its citizens and foster a brighter future. Subotica is, of course, only one area in Serbia where we have invested in water purification. In the Raška area, for instance, we have also invested more than €6 million in a wastewater treatment plant. European integration for Serbia is not an abstract thing; it is something people can see and feel in their own homes through cleaner and safer water for them and their children. Protecting the environment means protecting the people. That is what the EU is about: a better life for the people.'

Ms Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Director, Western Balkans and Head of Serbia: 'We hope to see more cities in Serbia follow the example of Subotica and invest in their wastewater and water infrastructure. The EBRD, the European Union as well as bilateral donor countries are focused on supporting the transition to a green economy and there has never been stronger momentum to invest in green infrastructure.'


More information about the project here.

More about WBIF activities in Serbia here.