Start of Works on the Water Supply System in Gradačac, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Over 20,000 people living in the town in Gradačac in Bosnia and Herzegovina are set to benefit from an upgrade of the water and wastewater system serving the municipality, after the works commenced last week on the WBIF supported „Gradačac Water Supply Project“. The project will improve the quality of service by aiming to supply water to 80% of the population in the urban area and reducing water losses. In addition, thanks to an extension of the sewerage network, the project has already increased the number of households connected to the wastewater system. As part of the project, the city introduced an improved water tariff collection based on accurate metering, which makes the service more sustainable. This will enable the municipality to meet European Union (EU) standards in the area of urban wastewater.
The project is identified in the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans as one of the Flagships within the Investment window „Environment and Climate". These projects concern sustainable and reliable ways of managing water supply, waste water and waste disposal, crucial for the protection of the environment and of the health of citizens.
The financing of the €15.8 million project has been secured through €2.1 million in grants by the bilateral donors of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), a €6 million loan by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), €2.3 million in donor funds from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) for investment and technical assistance, a €1 million grant from the government of the Czech Republic for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, as well as €4.4 million contribution by the beneficiary.
The water system and networks in Gradačac are largely comprised of pipes that were installed during the industrial development era in the 1970-80s. These are built up of several types of material (e.g. steel, asbestos cement pipes), and some of the pipes have an inadequate profile and are of poor quality. Water losses from these networks are high at over 50%, indicating the poor state of the distribution systems. Similarly, access and connections to the public sewage network is still a challenge: the network is insufficiently spread and the wastewater treatment plant (built in 1982) required immediate rehabilitation efforts.
Due to the high investment needs, the infrastructure project has been divided into four components:
Component I: Reconstruction of the existing water supply facilities and network in the City of Gradačac (central urban area) – subject of the WBIF Grant;
Component II: Reconstruction and expansion of the sewerage system;
Component III: Expansion of the water supply network in southern part of the municipality;
Component IV: Reconstruction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The project is expected to deliver several positive effects for the citizens of the Gradačac municipality, including:
- Rehabilitation of the water supply network – up to 40 km;
- Construction of the water supply network – around 105 km;
- Construction of the sewage network – approx. 40 km;
- Rehabilitation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant;
- Improve the quality of life for approx. 20,000 inhabitants;
- Improve the hygienic and the health conditions in the project area;
- Provide adequate water and sewerage services at accessible tariffs for the population;
- Reduce water losses from an average of 50% to 40%;
- Improve conditions for economic development in the area of Gradačac Municipality.
More about „Gradačac Water Supply Project“
More about WBIF Activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina