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16 March 2018

Launch of the Water Action Decade

On World Water Day, 22 March 2018, the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028 will be launched at the United Nations.
The event, led by the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, will feature high level participation including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antònio Guterres, to the musician Pitbull, a long standing advocate for water issues. The Decade aims to further improve cooperation, partnership and capacity development in response to the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Access the Water Action Decade website on


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 16 March 2018

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16 March 2018

NOW AVAILABLE: "The OECD Principles on Water Governance: From policy standards to practice"

This joint initiative between the OECD - particularly its Water Governance Initiative. - and the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) seeks to provide a canvas for a scientific approach to the OECD Principles on Water Governance and their use as a tool for multi-stakeholder dialogue in different contexts. The OECD Principles, adopted in 2015, are used as a common thread across the articles to feed theoretical and conceptual frameworks and draw lessons from practical experiences in water governance reforms. All papers were co-authored by groups of diverse stakeholders involved in the OECD Water Governance Initiative, including academics, regulators, utilities, NGOs, international organisations, user representatives and policy makers.

The special issue is available at

For any question, please contact More on OECD work on water governance:



Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 16 March 2018

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16 March 2018

Interesting Blog on "Principles of Progressive Partnerships"

Blog post on "Principles of Progressive Partnerships" contributed by Yang G. Villa,Senior Manager for Public-Private Partnerships and Lead for Industry Innovation, Metro Pacific Water:

"If we are to achieve the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), between now and 2030 we must provide access to safe drinking water to almost half a million people, and access to improved sanitation to a million people, every single day. The scale of reaching the targets for water and sanitation in SDG6 is immense, but the challenge is not impossible.

Success requires many ingredients, but perhaps more than anything, this daunting task makes partnerships and collaboration absolutely critical. This is specifically recognised in SDG17, which promotes partnerships and cross sectoral approaches. The question for many in the water sector is not why do we need partnerships, but with whom and how should we develop impactful partnerships? In doing so, how can we add value to each other in meaningful, lasting, and inclusive ways?

I offer three Principles of Progressive Partnerships that will not only increase the number, but also improve the quality, of collaborations to achieve the SDGs...."

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 16 March 2018

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01 March 2018

Nature-based solutions for decentralized wastewater treatment in the Lower Danube

GWP Central and Eastern Europe successfully completed a project on innovative wastewater treatment, developed in cooperation with IRIDRA and the Water Science Institute in Slovenia. The project was supported by the EU Joint Research Centre and was implemented in Kamniška Bistrica River Basin Slovenia during the years 2016-2017.

Protection of water quality in the Danube region

The enhancement and protection of water quality has been recognised as an issue in the Danube river therefore it is reflected in the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). The Joint Research Centre (JRC) provides scientific support to the Strategy which addresses the scientific needs related to the implementation of the EUSDR. It helps decision-makers and other stakeholders to identify the policy needs and actions required for the implementation of the Strategy.

Among the threats to water quality, untreated or poorly treated wastewater were identified as a key problem in some countries, according to the Danube River Basin Management Plan updated in 2015 and developed by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR).

 Finding affordable and sustainable wastewater treatment solutions  

Funded by the JRC, IRIDRA, the Water Science Institute and GWP Central and Eastern Europe implemented a project that broadened knowledge about alternatives for wastewater treatment in small settlements in the Lower Danube Region countries.

The overall aim of this project was to identify an affordable and sustainable solution for the wastewater treatment of small and medium settlements, which can be replicable in the studied river basin, and can improve the capacity building of local companies which are involved in small wastewater treatment activities.

Within the project, three settlements with a population of 500-2000 inhabitants each and located in  Kamniška Bistrica catchment, a small river basin in Slovenia in the lower Danube area, were selected as case studies. Decentralized approaches were compared to the option of collecting wastewater in a centralized treatment plant. Several technologies were assessed considering the most recent systems to be applied in small settlements.

 Analysis of the sustainability of the proposed solutions

 A feasibility study was conducted with two main goals: to screen the technical alternatives and to select the preferred alternative. It also covered the technical and financial appraisal of the selected alternative, the financial and economic analysis and identification of capacity building needs and plan for the training of plant operators.

The feasibility study results suggest constructed wetlands, a nature-based solution, as one of the best alternative. This technology, present on the market scale for 50 years,  is already in use in Slovenia. Sequencing batch reactors (SBR) is another good alternative, which could be used for decentralized treatment wherever there is a lack of available land for constructed wetlands.

However, the study concludes that the decentralized approach offers real economic, social and environmental advantages only if very robust and low-maintenance technologies are used. Thus, such aspects must be considered by the water policy at the basin scale.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 01 March 2018

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21 February 2018

UNESCO launches tool to monitor water quality

Water quality affects human health, as well as ecosystems, biodiversity, food production and economic growth.
The IIWQ World Water Quality Portal, which was developed in the framework of UNESCO-IHP’s International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ), is a pioneering tool to monitor water quality using Earth Observation. The Portal addresses an urgent need to enhance the knowledge base and access to information in order to better understand the impacts of climate- and human-induced change on water security.
It aims to provide water quality information, facilitate science-based, informed decision-making for water management and support Member States’ efforts in implementing the Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation (SDG 6), as well as several other Goals and Targets that are linked directly to water quality and water pollution.


Access the IIWQ World Water Quality Portal.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 21 February 2018

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21 February 2018

Safer drinking water for all Europeans

Revised European legislation proposed by the European Commission on February 1st will improve the quality of drinking water and access to it as well as provide better information to citizens.

The legislative proposal aims to guarantee the right to access essential services of good quality, including water, and thereby responds to the first-ever successful European Citizens' Initiative, "Right2Water", that gathered 1.6 million signatures in support of improving access to safe drinking water for all Europeans.

The new rules will require Member States to improve access for all people, especially for vulnerable and marginalised groups who currently have difficult access to drinking water. In practice, that means setting up equipment for access to drinking water in public spaces, launching campaigns to inform citizens about the quality of their water and encouraging administrations and public buildings to provide access to drinking water.

Another important change in the legislation will give the public easy, user-friendly - including online - access to information about the quality and supply of drinking water in their living area, improving confidence in tap water. According to estimates, the new measures would reduce potential health risks associated with drinking water from 4% to below 1%.

Lower consumption of bottled water can in addition help households in Europe save more than 600 million euro per year. With improved confidence in tap water, citizens can also contribute to reducing plastic waste from bottled water, including marine litter. Plastic bottles are one of the most common single use plastic items found on European beaches. With the update of the Drinking Water Directive, the Commission takes with an important legislative step towards implementing the EU Plastics Strategy presented on 16 January 2018.

More information in the press release of the European Comission "Safer drinking water for all Europeans"

Contributed by Danubis on 21 February 2018

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21 February 2018

Free Online Seminar on Water Cooperation & Diplomacy

IHE Delft Alumni & Partners Online Seminars are designed as a means of providing lifelong learning to the Institute Alumni community and Partners. Since the topics will be of interest to a broader audience, they are open to all interested persons. The Online Seminars are like interactive lectures transmitted over the web, with a duration of one hour including time for discussion. The seminar is organized in collaboration with the WaterChannel, IHE Delft partner.


Water management is conflict management. Regardless of the scale, ensuring that the needs of the people and ecosystems that rely on this critical resource are met effectively requires comprehensive understanding of both water science and water cooperation & diplomacy, including dispute mitigation, management, and resolution. This online seminar will investigate trends in water conflict management worldwide, and survey some skills necessary to address and transform water conflict at different scales, such as between users, sectors, states, and nations.

The online seminare will take place on March 6, 2018.

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 21 February 2018

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31 January 2018

Danube invests in human capacity for cleaner water

Great article on the work of IAWD in the Danube region inlcuding the Danube Water Program published in "The Source".


It is not the deepest, steepest, longest or strongest but from its source in Germany’s Black Forest town of Donaueschingen, to its mouth in Romania’s free port of Sulina on the Black Sea, the Danube is by far the world’s most politically complex river, traversing ten countries, and with tributaries, draining nine more. Geostrategic forces have shaped borders since ancient Rome. But as urbanisation has brought new threats, today’s Danube is primarily an urban river that runs through or past 98 cities, including four major capitals.

Yet for centuries, the river sparked rivalries rather than trust. Each city along the river acted more or less alone, despite sharing a common resource. They worked in isolation within the same country, let alone across national borders; and this worsened after World War II with divisions into the Eastern European bloc.

All too often, cities diverted upstream currents like an intake pipe for use, then disposed of urban waste (treated or untreated) back downstream as a natural sewer. But this changed starting in 1993, after the Iron Curtain fell, when a new utility alliance set out to replenish the Danube."


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 31 January 2018

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31 January 2018

ISO focus on water and sanitation

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) publishes six times per year the ISOfocus magazine in English, French and Spanish.
The latest edition of ISOfocus aims to raise awareness of the critical state of water resources around the world and inspire more action to tackle it.

This issue provides updates on developments in the water sector and is a vital source of up-to-date information about the water and wastewater industry. With its focus on driving performance in urban water services for rapidly growing cities, it undoubtedly speaks to the most pressing issue of our time.

Access and read the magazine here.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 31 January 2018

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17 January 2018

Croatia: Reducing Wastewater Pollution in Sensitive Coastal Areas of the Adriatic Sea

Cities along the Adriatic coastline of Croatia boast a sizable and fast growing tourism industry that is one of the key pillars of the country’s economy. However, the practice of discharging untreated sewage directly into the Adriatic Sea resulted in serious threats of environmental degradation of coastal waters, in addition to constraining tourism-based economic development. From the project’s start in 2009 to the project closure in 2015, the Coastal Cities Pollution Control Project 2 (CCPCP) supported the elimination of untreated wastewater discharge, piloted innovative wastewater treatment solutions, engaged in institutional strengthening, and improved seawater quality monitoring in the coastal area.

The World Bank (IBRD) provided the Republic of Croatia with a loan in the amount of US$87.50 million. The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) co-financed the project with a grant in the amount of US$6.4 million to help further reduce the nutrient loads entering Croatia’s coastal waters and to pilot innovative wastewater treatment solutions in several smaller municipalities.

Hrvatske vode (Croatian Waters), the main institutional player in the provision and management of wastewater services in Croatia, served as a focal point for the project preparation and implementation. In addition, the Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection was responsible for the implementation of the seawater quality monitoring project component.

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 January 2018

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17 January 2018

Celebrate 2018 with 12 Cartoons on Water and Sanitation

As 2018 makes its big entrance, the World Bank is delighted to welcome its Water Cartoon Calendar! Each year, the calendar shines a light on the most pressing water issues faced by communities around the world and aims to stimulate inspiration and ideas in pursuit of a healthy and water-secure world for all. 

Under the auspices of the Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP), the Water Cartoon Calendar has carried on the tradition of raising awareness around critical global water issues through humor. Five priority themes have been identified where action is critically needed to achieve the SDGs for water - sustainability, inclusion, institutions, financing and resilience - which provide the inspiration for the 2018 Water Cartoon Calendar. Check the 12 cartoons here, share with #WaterCartoon on social media, and download a high-res version of the calendar to print on your printer.  

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 January 2018

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17 January 2018

The European Commission launches a public consultation on EU funds in the area of cohesion

The European Commission (the Commission) has recently launched a public consultation on EU funds in the area of cohesion, with the goal to collect the views of all interested parties on how to make the most of every euro of the EU budget. The opinions provided within the public consultation will be used this year within the process of development of comprehensive proposals for the next generation of financial programmes for the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (the EU's long-term budget). 

The consultation in a form of an online questionnaire, available in 23 EU languages, is open until 8 March 2018 to all citizens and stakeholders interested in Cohesion policy, including beneficiaries of EU programmes and funds such as national, regional and local authorities, inter-governmental and non-governmental bodies, academic institutions, civil society and enterprises.

The Commission will publish the replies shortly after the end of the consultation period.

Detailed information, along with the link to the online questionnaire, is available on the website of the European Commission.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 January 2018

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17 January 2018

UNECE assessment in the Drina River Basin highlights importance of improving water quality and calls for strengthened transboundary cooperation

In the Drina River Basin, shared mainly by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, addressing water pollution and improving water quality and monitoring have emerged as key dimensions of the challenges of ensuring sustainable development in a transboundary context. These are among the findings of the intersectoral and participatory assessment of the Drina River Basin, published by UNECE on 29 December 2017, which also explores the multiple benefits of strengthening cooperation between countries and across sectors.

Need to tackle water pollution and improve water quality

In order to improve water quality in the Drina River Basin, the assessment underlines the need to control illegal dumping and promote sustainable practices in the agriculture, industrial and mining sectors. Responding effectively will require major investments, particularly in wastewater treatment and solid waste management facilities, best undertaken as a coordinated effort between the main basin-sharing countries.

The assessment revealed significant gaps in information about the status of waters in the basin, pointing in particular to the need to ensure the regular and systematic monitoring and analysis of water quality, especially regarding sources of pollution and their impact, including on ecosystems and health.

The assessment identifies significant benefits in the development of a common approach to improve water quality between basin-sharing countries. Initiatives to strengthen information sharing in this critical area could build on successful river basin management planning and data management processes in the region, notably those in the framework of the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), the Drina River being a tributary of the Sava.

Improving water quality could bring multiple benefits

The assessment makes a strong case for action, highlighting how strengthening cooperation would generate a range of interconnected benefits.

Improving the quality of surface water and groundwater is a case in point. In terms of environmental benefits, addressing water quality would improve habitat conditions, in turn bringing significant economic benefits including through the development of tourism and fish-farming. In particular, nature-related tourism — which holds great potential thanks to the rich biodiversity and spectacular landscapes of the Drina Basin — would most directly benefit from addressing pollution and improving environmental quality.  Such enhanced opportunities for nature-based recreational activities could also bring social benefits. Livelihoods of the basin’s population could be further improved with the promotion of local, high-quality agricultural products and/or renewable energy production.

In addition, improved water treatment could lead to cost-savings, including by reducing the need for alternative water sources such as bottled water, also bringing important health benefits in terms of disease prevention.

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 January 2018

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17 January 2018

Youth Voices → Policy Choices: Giving a boost to Eastern European youth thanks to Erasmus+

Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe is proud to announce that a new international initiative pairing young water advocates with policymakers has been selected for funding by the European Union's Erasmus+ program.

Youth Voices → Policy Choices: A Dialogue for Water and Climate Change Policies between Young Leaders and Policy-Makers will empower youth to define a clear vision for the future. Young leaders will meet with experienced policymakers to craft actionable visions for water in advance of COP24 in Katowice, Poland this December.

The project has been made possible thanks to a collaboration between Solidarity Water Europe, the  Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE), and  Youth Water Community Central and Eastern Europe (YWCCEE).

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 January 2018

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22 December 2017

Youth in Central and Eastern Europe fights plastic pollution in rivers

Earlier in 2017 a newly established Youth Water Community Central and Eastern Europe started a project about the reduction of plastic pollution in the river Ishmi in Albania. The project’s first activity was a workshop with local students that took place on 5 December at the Agricultural University of Tirana.

The Fishme Ishmi project

Youth Water Community Central and Eastern Europe (YWC CEE) was born during the GWP CEE Summer School in July 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. The Fishme Ishmi is a youth-led project developed by this newly established Youth Water Community, aiming at reducing the plastic pollution of the river Ishmi in Albania. According to different studies this river is considered as the most polluted river in Albania, with the quantities of ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, and suspended solids exceeding highly the EU legal limits. The main projects objectives of this project are: to raise awareness in schools and the community about the water pollution, to capture and recycle plastic from the basin and to create green job. This project focuses on: assessment of current status, raising awareness activities, educational activities and clean up campaigns.

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 January 2018

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20 December 2017

Group of experts revise WHO guidelines on small drinking-water supplies

On 27 November-1 December 2017, the Republic of Moldova hosted a WHO working group meeting that brought together international experts and researchers from 8 countries to revise the WHO guidelines for small drinking-water supplies. Small drinking-water supplies are typically water supplies that serve areas beyond the reach of municipal services.

WHO headquarters and WHO/Europe jointly conducted the meeting. This was the first global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) meeting to take place in the eastern part of Europe.

The group of experts was tasked with reviewing and revising the 1997 “Guidelines for drinking-water quality. Volume 3: Surveillance and control of community supplies”.

The revised guidelines will be presented in 2 parts:

  1. the Guidelines will support decision-makers in developing policies, regulations and associated strategies to achieve sustainable access to safe drinking-water in small water supplies; and
  2. the Field Guide will support field staff in preparing, carrying out and communicating the outcomes from drinking-water surveillance activities, and to take follow-up action.

The revised guidelines will continue to address community-managed water supplies, but will also address professionally and privately managed supplies.

Republic of Moldova addressing small drinking-water supplies to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The meeting was also an opportunity to recognize the efforts of the Republic of Moldova in managing small drinking-water supplies and implementing the Protocol on Water and Health. The Protocol is an international legal agreement linking sustainable water management and the prevention, control and reduction of water-related diseases in Europe.

“We see the importance of small drinking-water supplies in the era of the SDGs. Assuring access to water and sanitation for all is a common target to achieve,” stressed Boris Gîlca, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Moldova, during the meeting.

In the workshop, the Republic of Moldova presented its experience in enforcing the national legal framework on small-scale drinking-water supply systems, and in implementing the Protocol. Under the Protocol, the Republic of Moldova plays a leading role in promoting and mobilizing action on WASH in health-care facilities and schools - a key priority of SDG 6 - particularly in rural areas.

The country is successfully implementing the national targets (recently revised) under the Protocol. These are already aligned with SDG 6 on providing safely managed water supply services for all, including in rural areas.

Experts and researchers had an opportunity to see first-hand the country’s significant improvements in addressing small drinking-water supplies. They visited the district of Orhei to learn about the recent improvements achieved in delivering safe drinking-water supplies to the communities there.

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 January 2018

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20 December 2017

Establishment of WAREG as Association of European Water Regulators

On 5th December 2017, WAREG, the Association of European Water Regulators, was formally established in Milan as a non-profit organisation under Italian law. 

WAREG’s President, Mr. Alberto Biancardi (Italy), signed the Constitutive Act in the presence of an Italian notary at the premises of the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water (Aeegsi).  For this purpose, Mr Biancardi was granted powers of attorney by other Members of WAREG to formalize the Association’s establishment. Also present for this milestone event were WAREG’s Vice Presidents, Dr. Szilvia Szalóki (Hungary), Mr. Dimitar Kochkov (Bulgaria) and Mr. Anthony Sammut (Malta).

WAREG brings together 16 regulatory authorities and entities dealing with the regulation of water and wastewater services in Europe.  Other European regulatory authorities and entities are also expected to formalise their membership status in the near future.

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 January 2018

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12 December 2017


The Danube Water Program and the World Bank are looking for champion water and wastewater (WSS) utility companies in the Danube region which are interested in offering a balanced and inclusive workplace and equitable opportunities for young and female talents.  These are invited to participate in a project to help WSS companies across the region identify inclusive and gender-smart recruitment, retention, and promotion policies that work best for their employees and the business.

Around the globe, an increasing number of private and public companies are realizing that promoting gender equality in the workplace is good for business and development, an opportunity that no longer can be ignored in modern times.  We are looking for companies that are shifting the focus from the “why” to the “how”— i.e. based on evidence identify practical steps to close gender gaps and plan measures to address an aging workforce.

In the WSS sector in the Danube region, utilities often face a predominantly male and aging workforce. However, global gender gaps in primary, secondary, and tertiary education are closing. In the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sectors, women are the majority of graduates in many countries or at least their share is on the rise (Center for Talent Innovation 2014). However, this trend is not necessarily translating into more women entering and staying in the workforce and occupying skilled roles and leadership positions in certain sectors, including the WSS industry.

As part of the collaboration, a globally acknowledged strategic partner will provide expert advice and knowledge to help partner utilities come up with an action plan that addresses the needs of your utility. The exercise will be based on a gender diagnostic, informed by your utility HR-statistics, utility and national policies, and an employee survey. Your utility results and action plan will remain confidential and participation is free of costs. The results from participating utilities will be aggregated to inform the preparation of a report on equitable opportunity in the workplace for the State of the Sector Report - 2018 Update and a special session during the next Danube Water Conference.

Take this opportunity and register HERE. It will only take 1 minute and you will be contacted for further information.

Contributed by Danubis on 12 December 2017

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11 December 2017

The Ninth Belgrade Water Forum and Exhibition was again a success

From November 15 to 17, 2017, in the Belexpo Center at Holiday Inn Hotel in Novi Beograd, the 9th Water Exhibition and Forum "Water Sector - Modern Tools and Techniques, Experiences and New Projects " was held successfully. On the second day of the Forum, the program was dedicated to the regional water cooperation through the Danube Water Program, where the participants were informed about the advisory and analytical work carried out by the World Bank for the Danube Water Program, programs for strengthening water and sewerage companies' capacities within the Danube Partnership for Learning - D-LeaP as well as the DANUBIS DCM platform as a tool to collect, manage and evaluate Performance Indicator data.

More information (in serbian)

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 11 December 2017

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06 December 2017

Joining forces to offer sustainable solutions for wastewater treatment in the Danube River Basin

The first International Workshop on Wastewater Management in the Danube river Basin took place from 28 to 29 November 2017 in Bucharest, Romania. The Workshop was co-organised by the ICPDR, IAWD, the International Association of Water Supply companies in the Danube River Catchment Area, and the World Bank. The event was hosted by the National Administration "Romanian Waters" as well as the Romanian Ministry of Waters and Forests and supported by the Danube Water Program (DWP, jointly implemented by IAWD and World Bank), the EUSDR PA4, the Global Water Partnership, the EIB, both Directorates General ENV and JRC of the European Commission.

This joint initiative answers a need by the countries of the Danube River Basin to specifically address the multi-dimensional problem of wastewater management in the Danube River Basin.

The anticipated goal of the workshop was to achieve a clear concept of the roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders involved and to identify the necessary further steps towards sustainable management of wastewater infrastructure and service. Moreover, the workshop provided the participants with a platform to identify, share and discuss best practices and cost-efficient solutions in wastewater management.

The workshop program included plenary presentations to set the scene about and specific brainstorming sessions to identify particular issues around the three main pillars:

  • Investment & Financing
  • Management & Operation
  • Innovation & Technology


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 06 December 2017

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06 December 2017

Water Blog: Stronger together? Reflections on an 11-year journey through water reform

Interesting Blog by David Michaud, Practice Manager for water in Europe, Central America and Haiti at the World Bank, about the making of a background report and toolkit on the why, how and when to get water utilities to work together, also focusing on the Danube region.

"The year is 2006, the scene is Honduras. As an enthusiastic new team member of a World Bank water sector reform project, I am trying to participate in the high-level discussions around decentralization and local government empowerment in the provision of water and sanitation services in my (then) broken Spanish. Coming from Switzerland, a small country with thousands of local service providers, I am convinced a bottom-up approach to service delivery is THE solution. Hasn’t the hugely influential 2004 World Development Report argued for exactly that - shortening the accountability route between customers and service providers? We are the champions of local, elected mayors, who want nothing more than to prove they could deliver better than the central government’s utility."

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 06 December 2017

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30 November 2017

Umag, Croatia

Natjecanje u traženju curenja

Na ovogodišnjem druženju radnika vodovoda i kanalizacija, članova Hrvatske grupacije (HGVIK) u Umagu po prvi puta se održala prezentacija nove discipline: Natjecanje u traženju curenja. 
Na prvom natjecanju ove vrste sudjelovalo je dobrovoljno ukupno 13 djelatnika iz 10 poduzeća a prvi pobjednik je bio Hvarski vodovod, Jelsa.
Hrvatska grupacija vodovoda i kanalizacija (HGVIK) odlučila je pokrenuti aktivnosti s ciljem unapređenja znanja i vještina djelatnika odgovornih za poslove traženja curenja u suradnji sa tvrtkom Aqua Libera d.o.o. (Jurica Kovač, savjetnik za problematiku gubitaka vode).
Natjecanje je podrazumijevalo testiranje vještina ljudi (djelatnika vodovoda koji u svojim poduzećima već rade poslove traženja curenja) u otkrivanju skrivenih curenja na odabranom/pripremljenom cjevovodnom sustavu. Natjecanje je podrazumijevalo da svaki tim (vodovod) koji sudjeluje ima ograničeno vrijeme u kojem treba izvršiti ispitivanje i pronaći skrivena curenja (curenja koja se ne pojavljuju na površini zemlje). Kriteriji u određivanju plasmana je točnost određivanja mjesta curenja u najkraćem vremenu.
Natjecanje ima sljedeće ciljeve:
- unapređenje znanja i vještina ljudi odgovornih za poslove traženja curenja, kroz međusobno druženje, razmjenu iskustava, upoznavanje sa različitim vrstama opreme
- unapređenje komunikacije između različitih vodoopskrbnih poduzeća (timovi za traženje curenja i kontrolu gubitaka vode) 
- izgradnja natjecateljskog ozračja kao motivacije za vlastito unapređivanje
- promocija važnosti kvalitetne i kontinuirane provedbe aktivnosti kontrole gubitaka vode
Također je u planu daljnja promocija ove posebne vrste posla unutar vodoopskrbnih poduzeća, koja bi bila usmjerena prema obrazovnim institucijama (kako bi zainteresirali mlade ljude o atraktivnostima rada u javnoj vodoopskrbi) ali i prema javnosti uopće, s ciljem edukacije o složenosti poslova održavanja infrastrukture, urednog funkcioniranja javne vodoopskrbe ali i senzibiliziranja ljudi da shvate važnost očuvanja vode kao dragocjenog priridnog resursa. Želja je da se ova vrsta natjecanja kasnije proširi i na druge zemlje u regiji. 
Za kraj treba istaći da je provedba ovog projekta podržana od strane Podunavskog programa za vode kojeg financira Svjetska Banka, a operativno provodi Udruženje vodoopskrbnih poduzeća podunavskih zemalja - IAWD. Više informacija o programu može se naći na internet stranicama

Contributed by Aleksandar Krstic on 30 November 2017

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23 November 2017

Toolkit on the Aggregation of Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities released by the World Bank

About the Toolkit
  • Today, over 2 billion people live without safe drinking water. Our goal: Build a better future by achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 that calls for universal access to a safe, efficient, and reliable water supply for all.
  • Building on a review of literature and an analysis of both qualitative and quantitative evidence, a global set of international trends, a utility performance database that covers 1,306 utilities from more than 140 countries, and a series of case studies - this toolkit aims to help solve complex water supply and sanitation (WSS) challenges with a robust evidence base.
  •  Whether you are a World Bank Group staff member, a policymaker, a researcher, a practitioner, a citizen scientist, or just curious - engage with our original toolkit resources to advance your knowledge of the aggregation/fragmentation of the water sector for multiple purposes and contexts.

Join the Aggregation Toolkit as it equips the global WSS sector with data sets, tools, resources, and evidence-based guidance to the when, why, and how of aggregation processes.

Explore the interactive map and glossary of related definitions, highlighting global trends in utility aggregation; read the new World Bank report entitled “Joining Forces for Better Services? When, Why and How Water and Sanitation Utilities can Benefit from Working Together”; watch videos with first-hand interviews; and discover the context, purpose, and design of aggregation.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 04 October 2017

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23 November 2017

Deadline approaching on 30 November: New Danube Regional Benchmarking Inititative - Establishment of the Danube Hub

IAWD with the support of the Danube Water Program has over the past three years managed and pilot tested a Utility Benchmarking Program for Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities together with the European Benchmarking Cooperation (EBC) and water utility associations in the Danube countries. The program has involved the creation of national/subregional Hubs (with a local Benchmarking Coordinator) using the platform and services of EBC for data upload and individual company report preparation.

The new Danube Regional Benchmarking Initiative will complement the current system of national/subregional hubs for carrying out Benchmarking in national language at national/subregional level by expanding the program to offer participation in a leading utilities initiative at the Danube regional level involving 17 countries.

Primary objective of the new Danube Regional Benchmarking Initiative is to help leading utilities, located within the Danube region to further improve their services by benchmarking drinking water- and wastewater activities with high performing utilities of similar size and conditions. Next to a thorough assessment of a utility’s performance, the program offers participants benchmarking workshops and platform/utility network to learn from leading/best practices and innovations.

By establishing the Danube Hub, IAWD is upgrading the existing national and sub-regional Hubs, in oder to support capacity building and the sharing of knowledge and experience among its members and other utilities located in the Danube region. The new Danube Hub is managed by IAWD with the support of the newly assigned Hub coordinator Aleksandar Kristic and is operated under the Utility Benchmarking Program for Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities offered under D-LeaP.


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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 16 October 2017

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23 November 2017

Call for papers - 10th Eastern European IWA YWP Conference

The 10th edition of the Eastern European IWA YWP Conference dealing with "New Technologies in water sector" will take place in Zagreb on 7-12 may 2018. It will have a strong focus on practioners with several practical workshops taking place on the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Zagreb to improve hard and soft skills. These first three days will be followed by two days dedicated to scientific presentations plus an additional day with Technical Tours.

Call for Papers is still open until 1 January 2018 (see attached)!


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 23 November 2017

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20 November 2017

FREE Webinar on "Basin Action Agenda: Connecting cities, utilities and industries with their basins"

The IWA Basin Action Agenda aims to influence and activate utilities, cities and their industries to become water stewards working with basin and catchment organisations, as well as other water management stakeholders (e.g. agriculture and mining).

This webinar will present and discuss some of the Basin Stories which illustrate different pathways to connect urban areas with their watersheds.

The Basin Action Agenda is a mechanism to implement the Principles for Water Wise Cities and will contribute to the UN 2018 theme on Nature-based Solutions for Water.


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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 20 November 2017

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08 November 2017

Ukraine: City of Lviv Gets 24/7 Water Supply

Lviv is a Ukrainian city of nearly 800,000 people. For years, people there had access to water for only 6 hours each day. Today, thanks to the World Bank, the water flows 24/7 in Lyiv.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 08 November 2017

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08 November 2017

Raising awareness on water and climate at COP23

In view of raising political awareness for water within the climate change discussions, the World Water Council and its partners are engaging in this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (CoP23), 6-17 November 2017, Bonn, Germany.

In addition to carrying the voice of water with the #ClimateIsWater initiative, and supporting its members and their events throughout COP23, the Council is co-coordinating Water Day, which will be held on 10 November as part of the non-state actor engagement mechanism of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA).

Water Day will highlight the innovative work that is being done by the Council and its partners and facilitate opportunities for increased collaboration moving forward. This year’s Water Day sessions are focused on exploring the critical linkages between water and the global climate adaptation, mitigation and finance agendas, knowledge and capacity development, as well as  Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 11 on Zero Hunger and Sustainable Cities and Communities respectively.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 08 November 2017

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08 November 2017

Interested in becoming an IWA Reviewer

Preparations for the technical programme for the IWA World Water Congress in Tokyo 2018 are now underway. More than 1500 authors submitted their work to the congress! On behalf of the IWA Programme Committee, we kindly request your time and expertise by agreeing to review some of the outline papers submitted. It should take only a few minutes per outline paper.

We would like to invite you to review these outline papers intended for either platform or poster presentations at the Congress. Such papers consist of a maximum of two A4 pages of text plus up to two A4 pages of supporting figures, tables and references.

All reviewers will be acknowledged and have their name listed in the final materials distributed to all delegates attending the Congress. We can also, by request, provide you with a certificate confirming that you have been a reviewer for the Congress.

Please feel free to circulate this invitation to any of your colleagues who you believe would be potential reviewers.

Interested in becoming a reviewer?

IWA conferences make use of a web-based system, called Abstractlogic for online peer review. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer,

  1. Create your profile here
  2. Please enter information as requested through the registration process
  3. Upon successful registration, you will be sent a confirmation e-mail your details and your credentials
  4. In order to log in and edit your profile please click here.
  5. An email that will allow you to start reviewing will be sent few by the end of October to all successfullyregistered reviewers through the system. Please check also your spam folder.

For any further information do not hesitate to contact the Congress Secretariat at

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 08 November 2017

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07 November 2017

Webcast on "$22 Billion for Water Reuse: Where are the Opportunities for Municipalities and Business?"

Bluefield Research has forecasted investment in water reuse to total $22 billion through 2027 - a 37% increase in spending on water recycling projects. Do you have a plan for how your municipality or company can capture a piece of this growing market opportunity?

This webcast will explain the market drivers (and examine some of the barriers) for water reuse across the U.S., highlighting growing opportunities for water recycling investment. Geographical hotspots, such as California, Texas, and Florida, as well as industrial verticals including power, data centers, and food and beverage, are expected to be the epicenters for demand for growth in water reuse systems.

The webcast will take place on 8 November.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 November 2017

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06 November 2017

Tirana, Albania

Substantial Reform in the Drinking Water Sector

Albanian Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, during the presentation of the water sector reform

Albanian Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, during the presentation of the water sector reform

Speech by Prime Minister Edi Rama in the presentation of the water sector reform:Thank you very much for your presence! A presence that proves the simple truth, that in the country’s governing process, and where governing topics are topics of national public interest, there are no party differences between us. Of course, as far as we are concerned, we consider the 61 municipalities as part of the state organisation of this country and the 61 mayors as partners in trying to advance the country’s progressive agenda and to establish the rule of law in each sector.

The truth is that there is a long-standing backwardness in the water sector in Albania. From the fresh after-the-election experience, in all the tours of hearings organized by us, complaints voiced by the citizens throughout the territory on water supply services were a primary concern.

Today, we, as a country, are a living proof of the simple truth that the distinction between developing countries and non-developing countries, between the most developed countries and developing countries is not made by natural wealth, but is instead made by knowledge and the ability to turn natural wealth in an asset for developing the country, for developing the society, and for enhancing our people’s well-being.

We are the second richest country in Europe in water resources and we are the only country in Europe suffering from serious problems with drinking water supply. If we consider water as an essential criterion for our existence, then, Albanians, on the basis of this criterion, in many parts of the country just survive, but do not live a normal life. With the exception of residents of seven cities across the country, in most residential areas, even large ones, people are supplied with running water from the tap for only 4-5 hours. In villages, they do sometimes get just 1 hour of supply per day.

It is unacceptable that even in the middle of the capital we see the gruesome testimony of this long overdue backwardness but, above all, the backwardness of the state itself and of the two tiers of government. Of course, the biggest responsibility lays with the first tier of government, namely with the central government, which for 27 years has failed to find a solution to such a flagrant problem visible to the eyes of everyone. It suffices to just take a look at the terraces of Tirana, to understand the dimension of the situation.

A very detailed study has been made, starting from a database. The data are really shocking. It suffices just it to say that, according to such data, using only 1% of our water resources is enough to guarantee uninterrupted water supply, day and night, to the entire population of the country. Only 1% of the resources we have available. At a time when other countries have no underground water at all and manage to supply water to their population around o’clock, having perfect water supply systems in place.

It is almost 30 years since water has been considered as a free commodity, not as a colossal fortune that can and should be used as a drive towards development and prosperity. A commodity with no owner, because in the whole territory, the power of state on the water sector has not been present at all. We must all be ashamed that water utilities have for years now been turned into employment companies for people having no relation whatsoever to the sector and people who do not give any contribution to the companies, except that they are part of an abrasive, degrading, and destructive process for the companies themselves and for the water resources available to citizens, with all the consequences we all have in mind.

In Albania we use 10 times more electricity than in Germany to bring water into the taps of citizens. In the cost of the water we consume, 40% of it is covered by electricity used for the pumps located in almost every palace, or water supply throughout the country. 12% of the billed energy over a year’s time all over the country goes to produce drinking water, about EUR 30 million a year.

Over the last four years, a lot has been spent, nearly EUR 400 million to build a new water aqueduct, to improve the distribution system, or even for wastewater treatment plants. However, as you yourself can testify, the situation is economically unstable in every single municipality in the country. In every 4 litres of water produced by all this degraded and high cost machinery, only 1 litre is billed. This makes the state subsidize the water supply utilities one year after the other to not let them go bankrupt.

The situation cannot get worse than it is. Only a radical reform with an iron determination, similar to the reform and the determination we had all together in the electricity supply field, could give us the solution to emerge from this bankrupt and agonized system, getting endless investments and giving no significant and potential improvements in the daily lives of citizens in return.

We have passed through all the stages and have, during this time, made researches to identify on how we can best address this issue. I can share another shocking figure with you: the Albanian state, through various governments, has spent money to have in 23 years 27 National Water Strategies, which shows that some of these strategies are simply funded and one had a clue on what was being funded. Their funding was made at conditions of full absence of coordination within the governments themselves. Let alone the strategic documents accompanying the Strategies, which are also a mountain-high pile of papers, which have neither been implemented, and apparently, nor been read by anybody else, but their authors.

We have built an operational plan over all the bitter experience, above all the written strategies, over all consultations we have made and we want, together with all of you, to undertake this colossal work, day by day, to get away with this humiliating position to the country and degrading to the family customers throughout Albania. We cannot accept that the main problem of this country with such a precious wealth to be the inability and unwillingness to turn this natural wealth into tangible quality of life. We cannot accept this, at no cost.

We have built a plan which starts with the public appeal, which I invite you all to repeat for 90 consecutive days. All those who are supplied with water illegally have 90 days to fix their situation. We will not start with penalties. Water theft, just like energy theft, just like any other theft, is punishable under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania. But, given all this legacy, which is a mental legacy as well, we find it appropriate to give time to all water consumers to get self-regulated.

In cooperation with the municipality, with the support of the State Police and all other central structures, we will immediately begin cutting illegal connections. But, this will not be accompanied by penalties. For ninety days, whoever gets and seeks to get water afterwards from the water supply system must be self-regulated, should conclude a contract with the respective utility, so that they will not be penalized after 90 days.

Our aim is that within the first 300 days of governance, more or less up until June, we have installed meters to all those who will be self-regulated, or who will afterwards be obliged to be regulated, also applying the penalties, which shall be very severe. The Criminal Code is very clear on this matter.

Within less than a year, the struggle should be focused on the mind-set, change of mind, because, fortunately, just as with electricity, the example is very clear. Not everybody steals water. Not everyone fails to pay. There is a considerable number of regular paying citizens. That share of the population neither can afford to continue paying for those who do not pay, to keep the water utilities running, nor can they be penalized with less supply, because the rest does not pay. The fact that there are regular paying customers in every city, in every area, from the poorest to the richest parts of the country, is sufficient to tell others that you are no different from them and that you have to pay in the same manner as they do.

The national operation for clearing the network from illegal connections and from all those who are in violation of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania will start immediately and, on this I would kindly ask all Mayors, all Prefects, all utility directors to repeat each day,  for 90 days, that the operation will be based on the necessity for people to engage with their free in fixing their condition. However, that aside, the operation shall commence immediately.

On February 1, 2018, all those household or businesses customers identified with unlawful connections will be prosecuted and, pursuant to the laws in force, they risk much heavier measures than the water bill, which, for the sake of truth, throughout the country is very low compared to the cost of water production. Also, consumers who have arrears should take measures to offset the unpaid bills before they get disconnected from the service.

As of October 21, service operators across the country have binding orders, to not sign any new contract, if the applicant does not have a water meter. Of course, in this effort, the municipal burden is considerable. It is not the same as in the case of the electricity operation, as in this case municipalities are vested with direct responsibility. On the other hand, even Government’s understanding is special, given that municipalities do not have all the necessary opportunities to operate independently from the Central Government support.

The government shall subsidize not a single penny for any utility not joining this joint effort and not doing its task in this endeavour. If utilities fail to be involved in this operation, they shall get not even a single penny in subsidies. If the utility is involved in this operation, if it does its own job, if the municipality does its job, it is certainly up to the government to support it and to ensure continuity. We can refer to the law blindly, saying this is your job, so do it, because water supply of the population is a complete, shared responsibility, but we are aware of the limited possibilities of municipalities opportunities and of the fact that, in this operation, we are partners. We are in this not to leave responsibilities to each-other, or to blame each-other.

I want to inform you that there are 270 thousand households, or commercial subjects, not currently using water meters. This can no longer be tolerated and everyone should be invited to be self-legalized now, without penalties.

Twenty-five thousand wells are recorded as being opened in the Republic of Albania, of which only 265 have permits. A barbarity on its own, but also a product of a nearly 30-year-old tradition of the state abandoning its powers vis-à-vis this vital need of citizens. By 2018, any customer who uses, or wants to use groundwater, must be licensed to use this common asset. Formalization of all wells meeting the technical conditions and the closure of all wells not meeting such conditions will be part of this operation too. The entire well system will also be controlled by meters.

There is another element for which the Mayors having rivers in their respective municipal territories are more than aware of and have raised it as a concern — namely the story of abusive exploitation and free deviation of the riverbeds. Abuse of rivers has also turned into a major cause of flooding, which, when occurring, cause tens and tens of millions of damage across the country. We want to immediately put a halt to taking inert materials from the rivers, remove the inert nodes deposited on the riverbanks and start the battle against erosion and protection of agricultural land.

Starting from 15 November, all subjects that will be identified on the beds and banks of rivers or lakes with or without water in relevant areas will be prosecuted in accordance with the applicable laws and rules, while their vehicles shall be seized, according to the applicable laws.

In parallel, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment shall launch a national operation, in cooperation with local government units, for cleaning the river beds from inert materials, waste, spills of all sorts of industrial chemicals that damage our ecosystem, affect our health and remain accumulated there for many, many years.

By end of 2018, measures shall be taken to improve this situation in general, by strictly stopping the urban and solid waste streams and preventing untreated industrial waters from reaching the rivers.

In this battle, we consider ourselves together and without any distinction with all of you. Of course, the experience, the daily necessity of the work of mayors, makes you not only partners in the implementation of this massive operation, but you are also welcome to provide any suggestions and concrete ideas in improving the work.

The newly appointed prefects will also be part of this operation, closely coordinating the work between the Government and the mayors, being close to the local government units and ensuring synchronization of our efforts at any moment in addressing any concerns or any situation that requires an ad-hoc intervention.

In this operation, we have also considered the necessity to design a solidarity package for the people in need, just as we did with electricity. But, unlike electricity, it is widely known that water is a commodity that can be much more easily spared by the consumers, because it is not the same as the need for switching on the lights when the night falls.

If, in the most developed countries, in the countries with the highest per capita incomes, in the countries with the highest welfare there is no consumer leaving without making sure that the tap is closed, I do not think we can tolerate drinking water to be used for washing the streets, as happens randomly, in front of commercial units of all cities, starting from Tirana, let alone irrigation of gardens with drinking water and so on.

This is a difficult challenge, but very possible, as we are not in the conditions when we should start charging for a commodity where nobody pays, but we are in the conditions when an important part of the population pays regularly, despite having high income, or lower income. Even in the villages with the lowest supply, not everyone fails to pay; there are plenty who pay for the service. There are many examples, thanks also to the work done by some water supply companies, by some water supply managers, where even the most remote village pays regularly for the water they use. Which means that this is a matter of legality, matter of compliance of each customer’s behaviour with the law and in relation to the obligations to the community.

The Government will fully support every municipality and every water supply utility that will do its job in this operation, but will not subsidize even a single penny for those who will continue with the old deed. Here, I am mainly referring to the water utilities, to the water utility managers who come up with all sorts of reasons and put forward all sorts of justifications to the Mayors, putting them in the position of either to believe their excuses made on no grounds, afterwards trying to find justifications for their own selves, or give up. There is no reason either to believe in endless words, or to give up.

Water managers are not social workers, they have no obligation to generate social policy and they can no longer hide theft and abuse after the word “social”, because the same happens with this sector as with the electricity sector, where, continuously, even as we talk today, we see that there is an internal war within the system for those who abuse with bills, or with their quality as employees of the company. Not to say that it is true that water utility workers often get money in return to illegal connections, because illegal connections can only be linked in the grid by technicians. It is the water utility technicians, the ones who have to take care of the state work, exactly the ones who take bribes in exchange of illegal connections. This is an old story. I have encountered it myself as Mayor of Tirana for a long time, when we were dealing with this issue. My experience as Mayor has also proved me that in this battle, the Municipality and the Mayor never win if they have no support by the Government, police, state structures and other relevant actors that should be involved in this operation.

In this respect, we know our task very well. We will be by the side of every local government unit. On the other hand, the only thing we ask from every local government unit is the outcome in this direction. The more results we get in this endeavour, the more financial support we shall provide, within the capabilities of the state budget, for utility restructuring. It is up to you, Mayors, along with the Municipal Councils, to clear these utilities from the parasites, from the predators, from the people who are there just to receive a salary. Utilities are not employment enterprises and cannot do their job unless they act as a company on the market, if they do not require for the goods they sell the price they have. This is the way to start improving the utility budgets, local government budgets, and getting more budget on investments even from Central Government for this vital sector.

Once again, thank you for the presence!

Question: Have the government though of revising the price of electricity, not as a business price, but another price for the water supply?

Is it possible to reimburse the VAT and electricity debts from former communes? Is there any possibility for the former water utilities to be reimbursed, or do something with the obligations of the former communes?

Prime Minister Rama: When the energy sector reform began, the general trend was, and I am not only talking about the opposition, but also about the ruling majority, and also about internal people working for the reform, was to pardon the unpaid bill. The reason I was against this approach was that forgiveness leads to continuity and asks for other similar acts, while time showed we were right. We, in the process, step by step built a whole set of mitigating mechanisms for those who entered into a full legal framework and showed willingness not to continue the same old story. Relief packages were introduced step by step, which guaranteed facilitation of the burden of the past, but also the continuity of the new line.

I know it for a fact and I find it very clear that if we said the debts are yours and you have to pay them, each mayor would stand up and say, we have no chance of doing anything, because we cannot pay for these debts. That is not what we are saying. What we are saying is a different story altogether. Debts are part of a story that in the first place needs to change our mentality. They are there, no one asks you to pay them today. But, the evaluation on the debt will take place starting from today and onwards.

If, later on, no new debts were accumulated, it would be much easier to study the way ahead together, that is on how we would be released from the old debts, which will not be a burden on your shoulders. However, that said, debts are there, and on your shoulders for as long as you show that you have departed from the past, or show that you continue in the same old experience of the old days. If it continues the same way as in the past, of course it will not be possible. Which means that both in the law, and in the reform plan, we have not provided same foreseen futures for all the utilities. In this process there will be utilities marking success and those not marking any success. Those utilities will not longer be left under local administration. We will take them. For example, tomorrow, Shkodra’s utility can succeed and may seek to take Lezha’s utility under its administration as well. In other words, they are companies and they should start developing as companies. Water companies in many countries, say, the water company of Barcelona provides services around the world, in Africa, in Latin America, buys water utilities there and manages they accordingly.

Starting to work as a company, will bring, in a not too distant future, a situation when a healthy company that has been relieved of the burden of the past and has renewed the wounds of the past can well take another utility under its administration. For example, the utility in Malësia e Madhe, can take under administration the utility of Shkodra, or vice-versa, or both of them can merge into a new company, which takes another utility under administration. Tomorrow, Tirana’s water utility may run the water utility of Saranda. This is the logic.

The matter is that we have treated these utilities as if they belong to no one. They are funded by the state, and are self funded, for as much as they are funded. What did we do to the water works? Employed people. I know that, if Mayors were to talk what they really think, they would say that even the director is appointed by the party, as the party has told them to appoint a certain person as the Director of the utility as he/she is the one to collect more votes. Each of you, as a local government leader, has an obligation, namely to establish a new relationship with the utilities and to ask relevant utility to behave as a company, by asking from each director, in the first place, to act as the director of the utility, not as the party director, or house manager.

In the process, all these will be difficult topics, but the journey itself will tell us who will do what, depending on how much they will collect. The most crucial element is to stop the haemorrhage. Because all utilities have a severe haemorrhage caused from stealing of this commodity. This is the starting point. Once we take care of this element, we stop the haemorrhage, and then we will see the potentials of each body to stand, walk, run, dance, depending on how strong it is. There will certainly be a tendency by certain utilities to continue to get subsidies, as they will not manage to cover their costs, for objective reasons, because of their small size, the relatively large electricity costs and so on, but, they should do so once they have proven that their duty is over with, namely not to have even a single pipeline giving water for free.

Regarding electricity bills, if the utility were healthy, you could negotiate your contract with private suppliers, as is the case with many businesses. You can have a look at the market. There are many businesses buying energy at a much cheaper price, because they make deals with private suppliers. In the context you are in, you are not able to do so, because for the private supplier this would mean becoming bankrupt, thus joining the water utilities. Because they may say we are ready to sign the contract with you and then, at the end, you would tell them to go and talk to Central Government, as you have no money.

Debt of the past is there. We offset no debts, but different approaches will be taken depending on the financial behaviour of each utility. A successful utility may have special access to its debt, because it shows that debt is not a result of its irresponsibility, but is instead a burden inherited from the state’s irresponsibility, both at the central and local government level. What is sure is that if the utility starts to yield results and does not accumulate new debt, the Government behaviour vis-à-vis the debt of the utility would be totally different, as compared to the behaviour vis-à-vis the utility that may continue to think that the party is going to treat it differently. There will be zero tolerance to different treatment! We cannot continue to treat water utilities as party organizations. Water is a commodity all citizens need, regardless of what their political affiliation is and it is our duty to guarantee proper water supply services to them.

 Note: the above article has been translated by SHUKALB from the Albanian version of the article published on the prime minister website on 06 November 2017

Contributed by Danubis on 16 January 2018

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12 October 2017

Bosnia and Herzegovina Wins International Danube Art Master 2017 Competition

The “International Danube Art Master 2017” competition was announced on Danube Day on 29 June, 2017. The competition was linked to the event’s central theme - “Get Active for a Cleaner Danube” - to build on one of the three pillars of the Danube Declaration 2016, towards cleaner, healthier and safer waters for everyone to enjoy.

The competition was jointly organized by the ICPDR and the Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE), an ICPDR observer organisation and one of the largest networks focusing on water in the world.

The winning submission “Bridge - rivers connect people and bridges connect their riversides” - was created by pupils from the Sixth Basic School, Ilidža, in Sarajevo. The creative, artistic work of art made out of used plastic bottles and plastic waste forms a bridge depicting the joint goal of children building bridges that will connect with others towards a cleaner Danube, free of plastics.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 12 October 2017

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12 October 2017

Want to be a Young Leader of SDGs? The Call for applications is now open till 3 November!

The Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth have initiated a class of the Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals - 17 young change-makers whose leadership is catalyzing the achievement of the Goals. From food to fashion to finance, the Young Leaders come from many different backgrounds, represent every region in the world and help activate young people in support of the Goals. The call for applications for the next class of Young Leaders of SDGs is now live!

Young Leaders will be expected to actively support one or more of the following objectives:

  1. Advocate for the Goals, in ways most accessible and relatable to young people across different contexts;
  2. Promote innovative ways of engaging their audiences and peers in the advocacy and realization of the Goals;
  3. Contribute to a brain trust of young leaders supporting the UN and partners for key moments and initiatives related to the Goals.
  4. Each year, a new “Class” will be nominated through an open call for nominations and assessed according to robust selection criteria by a diverse selection committee.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 12 October 2017

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12 October 2017

Maximising Financing for Achieving the SDG Ambition on Water

Interesting Blog by Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director, Water Global Practice, The World Bank, who will be a Keynote Speaker at the Water and Development Congress & Exhibition 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina (13-16 November, 2017).

"Since 1990 an additional 2.1 billion people worldwide gained access to improved sanitation and, 91% of the global population now use improved drinking water sources. However, those who have access to Water and Sanitation Services - WSS - services often have to cope with poor service quality, including intermittent supplies. Hence, whereas the Millennium Development Goals - MDGs - predominantly focused on access and infrastructure delivery, the Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs - have ushered in a paradigm shift to focus on sustainability and service delivery - setting higher and broader expectations."

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 12 October 2017

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11 October 2017

Article about Water Supply System for the Montenigrin Coastal Region published in Austrian Journal AquaPress

In the current issue of the Austrian Journal "Aquapress" an article about the Water Supply System for the Montenigrin Coastal Region has been published. The article is available in english and german.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 11 October 2017

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05 October 2017

Free Workshop on "Wastewater Management in the Danube River Basin"

The ICPDR in cooperation with IAWD and the World Bank organizes the "International Workshop on Wastewater Management in the Danube river Basin", which will take place on 28-29 November 2017 in Bucharest, Romania. The event is hosted by the National Administration “Romanian Waters” and supported by the Danube Water Program, the EUSDR PA4, the Global Water Partnership, the EIB, both Directorates General ENV and JRC of the European Commission.

The workshop aims at bringing together the administration (national and local authorities) and utility sectors together with all relevant stakeholders for joint discussions on the following three pillars: Investment & Financing, Management & Operation and Innovation & Technology. The anticipated goal of the workshop is to achieve a clear concept of the roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders involved and to identify the necessary further steps towards sustainable management of wastewater infrastructure and services. Moreover, the workshop will provide the participants with a platform to identify, share and discuss best practices and cost-efficient solutions in wastewater management.


For more Information, please download the attached Invitation Letter!


For registration to the workshop, please visit

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 05 October 2017

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04 October 2017

Workshop “Water Security in Bulgaria” held in September

The World Bank, in coordination with the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Economy, and the State Agency for Metrological and Technical Surveillance, organized the “Water Security in Bulgaria” workshop, to be held on September 18-19. 

In recent years, the issue of water security has been gaining traction in the global political agenda and earning attention from national governments at the highest level. Water security offers opportunities for cooperation, collaboration, and for addressing challenges in a multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral way, to manage continued, sustainable development and growth.

Framing the water challenge in terms of water security suggests a dynamic construct that goes beyond single-issues, such as access to water or sanitation, and requires us to think more broadly about achievements with respect to water management.

For instance, in terms of water allocation, water security recognizes that there is not one temporal ‘optimal’ water allocation between multiple users. Any optimal allocation scenario is dynamic; the share of water allocated to a certain user may shift depending on changing environmental and socio-economic conditions. Achieving water security is a dynamic goal and the context for achievement is a constantly evolving world.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 04 October 2017

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04 October 2017

Harnessing a Rising Tide – A New Look at Water and Gender

A rising tide of social, economic and technological progress has provided the world with immense new opportunities.  This proverbial tide has raised many boats, but has left others behind. Individuals and groups who belong to certain ethnicities, religions, tribes, castes, races, disability statuses, locations, or sexual minorities have not been lifted.

That’s why a new World Bank report “The Rising Tide: A New Look at Water and Gender” provides a fresh look at the relationship between water and gender.  As Senior Director of the World Bank Water Global Practice Guangzhe Chen says: “We believe this report will help those who want to advance social inclusion in water, close gender gaps, and lift those who all too often are left behind or left out. “

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Contributed by Danubis on 04 October 2017

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27 September 2017

Free Webinar on "AquaRating: transforming the management of water and sanitation utilities"

AquaRating is the rating system for water and sanitation service providers. This international rating solution was launched in 2015 and has now utilities assessed in 5 continents. This webinar aims to provide a brief overview of the main challenges faced when assessing utilities performance, biggest achievements and expectations for the next years on water sector performance.

After this webinar, Participants will:

- Get a good understanding of the AquaRating performance assessment methodology;
- Get familiar with case of utilities assessment from different continents, main challenges, achievements and lessons learned;
- Good knowledge on the AquaRating performance assessment methodology;


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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 27 September 2017

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27 September 2017

Free Webinar on "Project Management of Engineering Projects: Preparing for Success"

Are you a (project) engineer with a technical background but lack management knowledge? Are you eager to improve project performance and want to expand your knowledge?

This business and management course will focus on the necessary project management skills to successfully manage projects, distinguishing three areas:

The project manager and the team
The project process
The project context
The course focuses on the early project phases, including examples from technical projects within various sectors and industries (amongst others, but not limited to, infrastructure projects and construction projects).

At the end of this course, you will have created your own project execution plan, either in a team effort or on individual basis. Of course the team effort allows for a special learning experience and we appraise active team participation.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 27 September 2017

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27 September 2017

Which countries are achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals fastest?

The ultimate aim of the Sustainable Development Goals, which replaced the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, is to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for everyone. Each goal has specific targets that need to be met by 2030.

So how close are countries to meeting them? To find out, non-profit organization Bertelsmann Stiftung and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network have created a prototype index that measures their performance.

The SDG Index measures 149 countries, comparing their current progress with a baseline measurement taken in 2015.

Across all 17 goals, Sweden tops the list of countries surveyed. It is, on average, 84.5% of the way to achieving the targets envisaged for 2030.

Following closely were Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark and Norway, with Finland in fourth place. Western European countries, plus Iceland (ninth), took the remainder of the top 10 slots and four of the top 20.

Also in the top 20 were Canada (13th), the Czech Republic (15th) and Slovenia (17th). Asia-Pacific’s top performers Japan, Singapore and Australia rounded off the list at 18th, 19th and 20th, respectively.

Check out the progress of your country on page 17 of the report (see attached).

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 27 September 2017

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18 September 2017

IFAD President appointed Chair of UN-Water

Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has been appointed the new Chair of UN-Water by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres. UN-Water is the UN’s coordination mechanism on water and sanitation.
In his role as Chair, Houngbo will lead in bringing together and leveraging the efforts of a number of United Nations agencies and international organizations.

 “I am pleased to take on the chairmanship and look forward to leading this global framework that aims to provide all people with access to sustainably-managed water and sanitation services,” Houngbo said.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 21 September 2017

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22 August 2017

Water resources management expert Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy is the new IWA Executive Director

Internationally recognised water resource management expert, Kala Vairavamoorthy, has been appointed Executive Director of the International Water Association (IWA). He takes up his position on 25 September 2017, and will be based in the IWA’s Global Operations Office in The Hague, Netherlands.

Vairavamoorthy has a particular interest in urban water issues, combining a strong engineering background with practical international experience. He has published extensively and has a strong international profile working closely with the World Bank, African Development Bank, UN-Habitat, Global Water Partnership, Stockholm International Water Institute and the European Union.

Commenting on the appointment, Diane d’Arras, President of the International Water Association, said: “Professor Vairavamoorthy brings many years of high-level international experience, including as an active and well-respected IWA member. His wide scientific, managerial and cultural experience will be invaluable in shaping the IWA’s future strategy. In particular, how we as a global network of water professionals can be instrumental in achieving the water-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 23 August 2017

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21 August 2017

Free Webinar on "Decarbonisation of water utilities- Tool for energy and emission assessment"

The impacts of climate change pose an increasing burden to how drinking water and wastewater utilities maintain the security of their supply and the operational performance of its infrastructure. At the same time the supply of water and the treatment of used water leads to substantial greenhouse gas emissions, caused e.g. by water loss and inefficiencies in the urban water systems.

These challenges however, can provide a window of opportunity to initiate a much needed paradigm shift towards low-energy, low-carbon and climate resilient urban water services. Drinking water and wastewater utilities can reduce their carbon footprint through energy efficiency measures, but also through reducing the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (methane and nitrous oxide) related to wastewater treatment and discharge. Implementing improvement measures has multiple benefits as it allows utilities to reduce their operational costs, improve their service to the public and protect the environment.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 21 August 2017

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17 August 2017

Submit your pitch and win a free participation to G-STIC 2017

G-STIC 2017 provides a unique chance to discover opportunities for technology innovations that enable the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Are you a student, PhD student or junior researcher?

If you have a novel idea on technology that holds potential to create systemic change, submit your pitch to win a free conference participation before August, 25th.

Otherwise, don't miss out on the last chance today to register with an Early Bird discount.

Check their website for more info.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 August 2017

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17 August 2017

Emerging Water Professional Opportunity at the International RiverSymposium

The International River Foundation (IRF) is currently calling for applications from Emerging Water Professionals, who would like to participate in a tailored program of activities during the 20th International Riversymposium and Environmental Flows Conference.

If you’re interested in unlocking a range of opportunities as a future water leader, the IRFwill help you to develop your skills, networks and expertise.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 August 2017

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10 August 2017

UNESCO-IHE offers free online course on "Benchmarking for Improved Water Utility Perfomance"

The first applications of benchmarking to the water and sanitation sector date back to the 1990s. Since then water utility benchmarking has been used at local, national and international scales. The main application of benchmarking in the sector is through voluntary benchmarking where performance is benchmarked within the water utility (over time, between similar units), with other water utilities (nationally or regionally) and with other utilities (e.g. power, telecoms, etc.). The use of benchmarking by regulators is yet limited, although an increasing number of regulators is assessing utility performance indicators and promote performance improvement, encouraging competition and providing incentives.

The aim of this course is to provide an overview of theory and experience in the benchmarking of water and sanitation services for the purpose of improving performance. The course draws on applied research by academics and on benchmarking practices worldwide.

The course is tailored to Junior and mid-career professionals from water and sanitation utilities, regulatory agencies, government departments and NGOs; postgraduate students. 

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 10 August 2017

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09 August 2017

Free online courses on SDGs

The SDG Academy has the mandate to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It provides FREE, high-quality content from a global faculty of experts in the field of sustainable development.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 09 August 2017

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20 July 2017

Can the Year of Wastewater catalyze action in Albania?

Great Blog article written by Arlinda Ibrahimllari, Chair of the IWA Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee and Technical Director of the Sanitation Dept. - Korça Water Works Utility (UKKO) in Albania.

"As a young wastewater engineer at the Water Supply and Sewerage Company in Korça, the largest city in South-Eastern Albania, I was given my first real opportunity to develop my practical skills as well as the ability to provide solutions to safeguard the health and wellbeing of both people and the environment.

When I started , in 2009, Korça discharged its wastewater through five outfalls into agricultural drains, which were modified by farmers to use the raw sewage for irrigation. The raw sewage partially passed through the Turani water supply aquifer field, and contributed to the pollution of the aquifer. As you can imagine, the contaminated drinking water caused some serious cases of dysentery and diarrhea in Korça."

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 31 July 2017

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06 July 2017

Bihac, B&H

A modern 10.8 mil EUR wastewater treatment plant officially opened in Bihac

A Waste water treatment plant Velhovo, a joint project of the City of Bihac, European Union, German Development Bank (KfW) and the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, worth 10.8 mil EUR was officially opened on 5 July 2017.

Since 2008, when the German Development Bank approved the financing of the Waste water collection and treatment project in Bihac, which has been facing numerous financial problems, Velhovo Wastewater treatment plant was opened yesterday, which is the most expensive part of the overall project.

As emphasized, the Waste water treatment plant in Bihac is a modern facility, equipped with state-of-the-art technical and technological equipment for waste water treatment, SCADA management system and the only facility of that type in the Una-Sana Canton.

Mayor of Bihac Suhret Fazlic thanked to all stakeholders who participated in this project.

"One day, our children will enjoy the benefits and the value of this project. We are not even aware of the challenges concerning sewerage and faeces, until this happens in our backyard or at home. Thus, this is an important event for our city," Fazlic said.


The plant is officially opened in the presence of members of the EU Delegation in our country, representatives of the German Development Bank (KfW), the Government of FB&H and the City of Bihac, and as it was highlighted as the largest project of the German Development Bank (KfW) funded from the grant funds.


"If you follow the River Una to its mouth in the Sava, then the Sava River to the Danube River in Belgrade and then follow the Danube upstream to the place where it is connected with the canal with River Maine, you will come to Frankfurt. This is a strong reminder of how much we are all connected with European watercourse, as well as with a common European destiny, "stated Christoph Tiskens, director of KfW for South East Europe and Turkey.


The opening ceremony was attended by Christiane Hohmann, the Ambassador of the Republic of Germany in B&H, who pointed out that the plant was built according to the relevant EU standards.

"From the first steps to the successful completion of the project we needed 9 years. Allow me to say that the project duration is not in line with EU standards. In future projects, and many are under preparation, we expect less political bureaucracy and more commitment from our B&H partners, "said Hohmann.

After the construction of the sewage system and the commissioning of the plant, the water quality of Una river in the city itself and downstream from the discharge point will be improved from class 2 to class 1, which will improve the quality of raw water for water supply for the inhabitants of downstream municipalities, recreational and environmental value, and positive effects will be achieved concerning environmental protection and biodiversity as a whole. In addition, there will be a wider positive impact on the protection of sensitive areas - the Danube Basin and the Black Sea.

In addition to Sarajevo Canton and Mostar, the City of Bihac has acquired a modern waste water treatment plant for which the FB&H Government has allocated 8 million KM from the relevant agencies and funds.  Una and Sana river with its tributaries deserve such projects, as well as projects that we strive to realize in the coming period in order to preserve these beauties for our and future generations," said Semsudin Dedic, Minister of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry of FB&H.


“The newly constructed sewage system together with the existing one forms an integral system of over 111 km of pipelines. The main challenge for a public water company will be to maintain this system that has its own rules - as if there are a lot of facilities such as siphons, rain overflows and manholes, it is necessary to build the capacity of the water company to cope with these challenges in the maintenance of the facilities.

The Waste water treatment plant is a very modern system that will significantly improve the quality of water downstream from Bihac This large system requires certain costs and in the coming period the costs of the service will have to be adjusted to these costs, "said Sandi Zulic, director of Una Consulting.

The Waste water treatment plant in Bihac is part of the project Waste water collection and treatment plants divided into three components, component I - consisting of the construction of about 53 km of new sewage network through the city of Bihac, of approximate value of 11.9 mil EUR, Component II - consisting of the construction of a treatment plant in Velhovo, worth about 10.8 mil EUR, with the main role is to treat waste water before they reach the River Una and Component III - accompanying measures for human, organizational and institutional strengthening of the public water company which is still ongoing.


Preparation of bidding documents, including development of conceptual design, support in bidding process, and supervision over the construction of Wastewater treatment plant in Bihac was entrusted to the joint German-B&H venture "Fichtner-Una Consulting", while the contractor for the construction works was the German-Italian consortium "Pfeiffer-Emit. The contract was implemented in in line with the FIDIC model "Yellow Book" according to which the contractor designs and performs works.

In addition to preparation of design and bidding documentation for construction of Waste water treatment plant in Mostar, supervision over the rehabilitation of the Wastewater treatment plant in Sarajevo, this is another successfully completed project of Una Consulting team from Bihac.




Contributed by Emilija Mazar on 06 July 2017

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29 June 2017

Today is Danube Day!

Today, the 29th of June, the 14 countries of the Danube Basin jointly celebrate one of Europe's greatest river systems and the people and wildlife that rely on it. Eight national or cross-border celebrations are being held today. Over 100 other events are taking place across the Basin in the weeks either side of Danube Day.

The international event is coordinated by the ICPDR, but organised nationally and locally by state, regional and local authorities, NGOs and corporate partners.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 29 June 2017

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29 June 2017

Welcome to DANUBE-INCO.Net!

There are 70 universities and hundreds of research institutes and other scientific institutions in the Danube Region. They are all united in the desire to advance science and innovation, and to strengthen the region’s competitiveness in the interests of social and economic progress.

By joining forces from 19 project partners under the coordination of the Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), Danube-INCO.NET seeks to overcome obstacles hindering the social and economic development of the Danube region.  The project will be putting in all effort to ensure that events, publications and policy recommendations related to R&I cooperation in the Danube Region will reach an audience as broad as possible interested and engaged in the future macro-regional development of the Danube Region.


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 29 June 2017

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29 June 2017

Rethinking investment in urban resilience

Interesting Article by Corinne Trommsdorff (IWA), Lisa Andrews (IWA), Aparna Sridhar (The Nature Conservancy) about investment in urban resilience.

Cities today face many competing demands. They must ensure enough food and water to sustain growing populations, plan to adapt and mitigate impacts of climate change, and build attractive urban centres. Financing projects in cities to develop their resilience is no easy task. Many banks, financiers and private companies have trouble investing in supportive measures due to the lack of information and potential associated risks. Now, more than ever, we need to rethink the way we invest in urban resilience.

Innovative financing models, like those outlined in IWA’s Principles for Water-Wise Cities, allow cities to remain flexible when changes or disasters occur - fostering more efficient solutions with smaller and more frequent investments. Cities need to consider the importance of integrated services that meet multiple demands with targeted investments in order toprovide options that overcome their lack of financial capacity and bring about new funding opportunities.

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Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 29 June 2017

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26 June 2017

LESAM 2017 – Trondheim, Norway 20 – 22 June 2017

The LESAM - Leading Edge Sustainable Asset Management of Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Conference took place in Trondheim, Norway on 20-22 June and was jointly organized by IWA - International Water Association, the national association Norwegian Water, the municipality of the city of Trondheim and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The biannual LESAM facilitated by the IWA Strategic Asset Management Specialist Group, IWA establishes a consolidated leading-edge forum where utilities, consultants, regulators, researchers and asset managers identify and discuss the main challenges, new solutions and trends in strategic asset management.

Themes for LESAM 2017 included among other topics best practices in Integrated Asset Management (IAM) organizational implementation, advanced data management and IT systems implementation and innovative technologies for condition monitoring and assessment and modeling solutions, advanced economic modelling and improved accounting methods for costs and benefices and a better understanding of what consumers expect.

55 presentations divided in 8 different topics were shared with more than 150 participants from all parts of the world.

One of the presentations related to the topic Best practices in IAM was Development & Implementation of an Asset Management Business Planning Model as a Decision Support Tool for Public Utilities and Local Governments in South-Eastern Europe, a joint paper prepared by Dr. Petros Kolovopoulos and Mr. Oliver Nachevski. The reception of the presentation was very positive provoking vivid discussion with the audience.

All the presentations from the conference could be downloaded on the following link:

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 26 June 2017

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26 June 2017

New edition of The Source Magazine

The Source Magazine is a product of the International Water Association. Currently, all content is open access, but will move to a freemium model for the next issue of the magazine with five to six free articles per month.

The power of social contracts in strengthening institutions

Trust binds a utility, customers and government in a ‘golden triangle’, writes Declan Hearne, leading “to higher adaptive capacity to climatic, economic or social shocks.”

Embracing water as an asset

Water has a magnetic power, says Helle Søholt. So beyond health, flood, or drought risks, its people-centric force helps us “to enjoy the sound and activities surrounding water.”

Further Articles


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 26 June 2017

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21 June 2017

The Blue Economy by Gunter Pauli

Inspiring talk about the Blue Economy held by Gunter Pauli at the IWA World Water Congress 2016 in Brisbane.

Find the video here.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 21 June 2017

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07 June 2017

The Hague, Netherlands

SHUKALB Presents in The Hague, Netherlands at “Doing Business in the Western Balkans” Forum

On June 1st, the Dutch Government organized a one day seminar titled, “Doing Business in The Western Balkans” at the premises of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in The Hague.  The purpose of the seminar was to inform Dutch companies and investors relative to the business opportunities in the Western Balkans in different sectors such as tourism, water, agribusiness, textiles and energy.

Elisabeta Poci, Deputy Executive Director, SHUKALB with Dewi van de Weerd, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Albania

Elisabeta Poci, Deputy Executive Director, SHUKALB with Dewi van de Weerd, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Albania

The opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Guido Landheer, Deputy Director-General for Foreign Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr. Bas Pulles, Director of International Programmes, RVO, as well Ms. Dewi van de Weerd, Netherlands Ambassador to Albania.

Invited by the Netherlands Embassy to Albania, the Deputy Executive Director of SHUKALB, Ms. Elisabeta Poci, presented an overview of the challenges, as well as the opportunities, that exist for companies and investors interested in the Water Sector of the Western Balkans.  In her presentation, Ms. Poci emphasized, on one hand, the need for know-how and capacity building for performance improvement of the water and wastewater utilities in the region, and on the other hand, the challenges of wastewater treatment related to prioritizing of investments and selection of appropriate and sustainable technologies.

Elisabeta Poci, Deputy Executive Director, SHUKALB with Aida Sakiqi, Ambassador of Albania in the Netherlands

Elisabeta Poci, Deputy Executive Director, SHUKALB with Aida Sakiqi, Ambassador of Albania in the Netherlands

Ms. Poci also conveyed, during the exchanges with company representatives present at the seminar, that SHUKALB remains available to provide information and networking opportunities through its programs and activities to Dutch companies and others that are interested to explore and invest in the water sector in Albania.  The private sector is already well represented in SHUKALB’s government structures and SHUKALB sees as crucial the exchange between the private and the public sector, in order to meet the todays as well as the future challenges of the water sector at the national as well as global level.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 07 June 2017

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07 June 2017

Pristine, Kosovo

SHUKALB Delivers First Training Course in Pristina under Agreement with SHUKOS

Mr. Ilir Abdullahu, President of SHUKOS, distributing the course certificates to the participants.On 25 - 26 May 2017, SHUKALB conducted the first training course in Prishtina, Kosovo under the Agreement that SHUKALB signed with SHUKOS during the Balkans Annual Joint Conference in November 2016.  The course “Introduction to Water Treatment” was delivered by trainers from the Prishtina Regional Water Supply and Sewerage Company. The training course was attended by participants from Water Regional Companies of Kosovo, such as Prishtina, Hidrodrini, Radoniqi, Bifurkacioni, and Hidromorava, as well as from Municipality of Shijak in Albania.


Trainer Ms. Savrie Spahiu is shown with participants in the course during the visit to the Water Treatment PlantThe training course addressed the operational processes of water treatment plants such as aeration, coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, corrosion control, taste and odor control.

The Training Course offered the opportunity to the participants to visit the new Pristina Water Treatment Plant and to see in practice the operation of an actual water treatment plant.

The feedback taken from the participants was very positive and reflected in some of the comments provided by the participants, such as:

  • A very good experience which we strongly believe will be useful at our work.
  • I increased my knowledge related to the process technology and appreciated it a lot.
  • I learned a lot in this training course and thank SHUKALB for the initiative.

At the conclusion of the training, all participants received certificates of attendance.  The course is part of the extensive training program that has been developed by SHUKALB under its grant from USAID that includes nearly 50 fully developed training courses that have been and will continue to be given on both Albania and Kosovo on a regular schedule.  Anyone interested in learning more about the training program and the training schedule are encouraged to go to the SHUKALB website ( to view the Training Calendar.

Contributed by Danubis on 21 June 2017

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25 May 2017

Aquasan participated in a training demonstration „Local governments’ role in planning investments and improving performance of water and sanitation services”

As part of the Danube Water Conference held from 17 to 19 of May 2017 in Vienna, a special session was held on „Local governments’ role in planning investments and improving performance of water and sanitation services” where the representatives of the Aquasan Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina played a significant role. Ms.Aida Jusufhodzic, a certified LLSEE trainer facilitated a part of the training about “Public Service Agreement” (PSA), and Mr, Sandi Zulic as a resource person, shared his experiences in B&H related to conclusion of these agreements.

This session has demonstrated part of the trainings from the module “Efficient organization and effective management of communal services”, one of five trainings developed within the program “Local Leaders South East Europe: Lead for Change” (LL SEE), implemented in the past two years with the support of GIZ. The session, focused on practical approaches and tools for local decision-makers for planning investments and improving water supply and sanitation services, raised high interest of the audience and achieved interaction. It explored the Financial and Operational Performance Improvement Programme (FOPIP) and the need for performance based contracts between the local government and the public utility.

The session was delivered by two excellent trainers from the LL SEE pool of 33 trainers, Ms. Aida Jusufhodzic and Mr. Jane Vrteski, and backed up with the expertise of the resource persons: Mr. Vanja Starovlah, from the Union of Montenegro Municipalities, Mr. Mirko Djacic, Mayor of Pljevlja in Montenegro, Mr. Djordje Stanicic from the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia and Mr. Sandi Zulic from Aquasan Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Miodrag Kolic presented the achievements of LL SEE, and the session was chaired by Ms. Jelena Janevska, both from NALAS network, association that gathers national associations of towns and municipalities of South east Europe.

The session resulted with the following conclusions:

  • FOPIP provides a systematic approach for achieving effective utility management and is very beneficial for any public utility company that cares for its services.
  • FOPIP is often a request by financing institutions.
  • FOPIP identifies the key management areas for improvement in the company.
  • It is essential that local governments and public utility companies work together in all phases, from the assessment, determining the indicators, setting objectives, planning and implementing actions to improve water services.
  • In doing so, PSA is a tool for setting objectives, determining actions, rights and obligations and monitoring the progress.
  • In these processes, customers must not be forgotten and their opinions have to be taken into consideration.
  • Some of the key indicators that the participants agreed are the most important to be included in the PSA are: quality of water supply service, non-revenue water and financial efficiency.
  • Still, the PSA needs to be adjusted to the context. For example, setting these indicators might be challenging in rural areas, where data is lacking.


Contributed by Emilija Mazar on 25 May 2017

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08 May 2017

2017 GLAAS report stresses need for increased efficiency and new sources of funding

Countries are not increasing spending fast enough to meet the water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a new GLAAS (Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water) report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of UN-Water - the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater-related issues, including sanitation.

“Today, almost two billion people use a source of drinking-water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio,” says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. 

The report stresses that countries will not meet global aspirations of universal access to safe drinking-water and sanitation unless steps are taken to use financial resources more efficiently and increase efforts to identify new sources of funding. According to the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 report, countries have increased their budgets for water, sanitation and hygiene at an annual average rate of 4.9% over the last three years. Yet, 80% of countries report that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) financing is still insufficient to meet nationally-defined targets for WASH services.

In many developing countries, current national coverage targets are based on achieving access to basic infrastructure, which may not always provide continuously safe and reliable services. Planned investments have yet to take into account the much more ambitious SDG targets, which aim for universal access to safely managed water and sanitation services by 2030.

In order to meet the SDG global targets, the World Bank estimates investments in infrastructure need to triple to US $114 billion per year - a figure which does not include operating and maintenance costs.

While the funding gap is vast, 147 countries have previously demonstrated the ability to mobilize the resources required to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people without an improved source of water, and 95 met the corresponding target for sanitation. The much more ambitious SDG targets will require collective, coordinated and innovative efforts to mobilize even higher levels of funding from all sources: taxes, tariffs (payments and labour from households), and transfers from donors. 

"This is a challenge we have the ability to solve," says Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and Director-General of the International Labour Organization. "Increased investments in water and sanitation can yield substantial benefits for human health and development, generate employment and make sure that we leave no one behind."

Download the report here

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 08 May 2017

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19 April 2017

IWA Performance Indicators Conference 2017 - Program available

Appropriate performance indicators are essential for describing the quality of water supply. However, these are often difficult to establish: while they should be universally applicable, they should yet take account of special characteristics as well. Every other year, the IWA Benchmarking und Performance Assessment Specialist Group organises a conference showcasing international projects, applications and developments. This time, this international forum is to take place in Vienna (15 - 17 May 2017) and will offer participants an opportunity to keep up-to-date with the state of the art in the important field of performance indicators. The conference organised in Vienna by the International Water Asscotiation (IWA) and the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD) offers in-depth international information ranging from research to practical applications and will be held in conjunction with the 2017 Danube Water Conference (17 - 18 May 2017).

Please find the Program of the PI2017 here.

Walter Kling, IAWD Secretary General: “Technical performance indicators such as those determined by benchmarking are not to serve as justification vis-à-vis stakeholders but were developed to be able to measure one’s performance against that of industry colleagues and perhaps in this way to spot improvement potentials for one’s home company. However, consumers and political decision-makers, too, want to have access to data that discloses whether a water utility is well managed.”

To register for the IWA Performance Indicator Conference 2017, please go to!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 19 April 2017

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13 April 2017

Sustainability of Water Services in Bosnia and Herzegovina

BANJA LUKA, 6 April 2017 On 5 and 6 April 2017 a regional conference on „Sustainability of water services in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was organized by the Association for Water and Environmental Protection Sector „Aquasan Network in B&H“,  Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations in B&H, Association „Waterworks RS“, Association of Employers of Utility Companies of the FB&H“, and the Association of Cities and Municipalities of the FB&H and the Association of Municipalities and Cities of the RS. The conference was held in Banja Luka.

Main objective of the conference was to support public utility companies (PUC) and local government units (LGU) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) to actively strengthen their organizational, institutional and human capacities and create a supportive legal and institutional framework with the aim of increasing quality,  operational and financial sustainability of water services.

More than 150 participants from B&H and the Southeast Europe (SEE) attended the conference. In addition to the relevant representatives of the administration from all levels in B&H, including representatives of the relevant state, entity, cantonal ministries, entity agencies for water and environmental funds, representatives of LGUs and their PUCs, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and the private sector, as well as representatives of national and international financial institutions (IFIs) operating in B&H and SEE.

The conference began with a very attractive, but so far insufficiently tackled topic focused on the interest of young professionals for the field of water supply and wastewater disposal. Emphasis was given to the quality networking of academia and the labor market, to provide young professionals with the opportunity to answer the real needs of the market upon completion of their studies. The initiative to establish a network of young professionals was presented, as well as a new Facebook page, "Young water professionals and B&H" following the example of the support that the International Association for Water (IWA) provides to young professionals with the aim to empower the next generation of leaders in this sector. Edin Basic, a student of the fifth year of master study at Civil Engineering stated "As a final year student, I am very pleased that this topic was presented and discussed at such an important event, and I express my gratitude for the opportunity to offer students information what is available at the market, and to provide them opportunity to share vision on their involvement in the water and environmental protection sector ".

Establishing contacts with IWA to establish a network of young professionals in B&H is one of the conclusions of this session, according to the example of countries in SEE. Aquasan Network will invest efforts to transfer good practice and experience, and to establish cooperation between IWA and civil engineering faculties in B&H.


The possible ways to address the challenges faced by LGUs and their PUCs in B&H in terms of the sustainability of the quality of water services, relations with the founders and other levels of government were also presented during the conference. The participants were actively involved in the discussions on current topics, such as determining the procedure of adoption of water tariffs, optimizing the organizational structure of the PUCs, decisions on new investments, as well as the impact of those decisions on the increase of tariffs of services and their affordability for customers, asset management, reduction of non-revenue water etc. As Mrs. Branka Trninic, President of the Association "Waterworks RS" highlighted "Water services are services that must be available to consumers24 hours, and their sustainability means that quality water must be supplied, but also that this service must be paid in order to allow maintain infrastructure because water does not come alone to the customer."


Reference was made to the legal and institutional framework and the financial sustainability of water services.  The proposal of necessary changes in the regulation of water services in B&H was also presented. Through panel discussions, participants tackled the jurisdiction over water services, integration of the EU directives into laws on communal affairs, as well as the challenges of implementation of River Basin Management Plans. "The synergy between the LGUs and PUCs is necessary and only thus quality service for customers can be provided. The conference is a good opportunity for those who have already gone through the implementation of specific projects to communicate their experiences to others in order to avoid problems and challenges during the project realization, "explained Mr. Ibrahim Mujakic, a representative of the Municipality of Cazin.

New programs to strengthen the capacities of PUCs and LGUs in B&H offered by IFIs and donors, as well as a participation in those programs were presented during the second day of the conference.

Good response of national and international stakeholders has prompted organizers to seize this opportunity and to openly discuss the topic "Supporting the coordination between donors and IFIs and relevant institutions/organizations in B&H". Participants were content with an opportunity to exchange information, but also to learn more about, on the one hand local needs, and on the other hand, the offer of IFIs and donors, and to try as much as possible to reconcile these needs and offers. As a representative of the donor, Mrs. Violeta Wolff, one behalf of the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Basin (IAWD) stated the following "Donors are very interested to support PUCs, but need to identify those needs, especially the needs for capacity building". She praised the organization of a platform for dialogue in the framework of the conference, where donors and IFIs have had the opportunity to exchange information on the needs of local companies and institutions and offers of donors.


Conference participants have confirmed that water services are the most relevant and of highest priority to citizens, these are the services that require high quality and a 24-hour supply, but also  have a direct impact on the health of citizens and local economic development.



The main conference conclusions are:

  1. Horizontal and vertical coordination and continuation of dialogue necessary between all stakeholders on the current challenges in the water services sector, particularly on the sustainability of the PUCs and steps to be taken in order to initiate the necessary changes in the sector,
  2. It is important to strengthen cooperation between LGUs and PUCs, and their unions and associations,
  3. The needs should be properly identified, formulated and presented to local decision-makers, as well as IFIs and donors,
  4. Additional support is needed in the analysis of the regulatory framework in order to prepare a systematic and structured solutions and defining more precisely the competences, i.e. the rights and obligations, roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders,
  5. Systemic approach necessary to strengthen human, organizational and institutional capacities of PUCs and LGUs,
  6. Process of changes should be led by B&H institutions and organizations,
  7. Young professionals in the sector of water supply and wastewater should receive specific support, but they need to take the initiative.

Support to the implementation of the conference was provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry of Una-Sana Canton. Additional support was provided by the Open Regional Fund for Modernization of Municipal Services in SEE (GIZ) and the Danube water program (DWP), through the IAWD.


Contributed by Emilija Mazar on 13 April 2017

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28 March 2017

Thirsting for justice: new report reveals depth of discrimination faced by Europe’s Roma in accessing water

On March 22, 2017, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) released its report - Thirsting for Justice: Europe’s Roma Denied Access to Clean Water & Sanitation, highlighting the shocking disparities between Roma and non-Roma in their access to water.


This report summarizes research conducted by the European Roma Rights Centre, between 2014-2016, covering 93 Romani neighbourhoods and settlements in Albania, France, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Slovakia. The findings reveal shocking disparities in access to clean water and sanitation between Roma and non-Roma. Regardless of the human rights to water and sanitation being recognised by the United Nations General Assembly, this report is the first to demonstrate how large segments of Europe’s Roma continue to be systemically denied and disadvantaged in their access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Contributed by Elvira Broeks on 28 March 2017

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07 March 2017

Business model of water utilities - the elephant in the room

Article by Bhakti Devi about "the elephant in the room - which is the business model under which a water utility has been operating for a long long time, and that it is running its expiry date"

Water utilities have been toying with the idea of integrated water cycle management (IWCM) for over a decade. Integrated water cycle management calls for integrating the objectives of providing water, wastewater and stormwater services rather than treat them as separate and mutually exclusive. For example considering meeting some of the water demand especially non potable ones by capturing and cleaning the wastewater and stormwater to required water quality, and not looking upon them as waste flows to be simply drained and discharged to the waterways. 


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 March 2017

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07 March 2017

New Decade for Water

In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution “International Decade (2018-2028) for Action - Water for Sustainable Development” to help put a greater focus on water during ten years.  

Emphasizing that water is critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger, UN Member States expressed deep concern over the lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene and over water related disasters, scarcity and pollution being excarcebated by urbanization, population growth, desertification, drought and climate change.

 The new Decade will focus on on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources for the achievement of social, economic and environmental objectives and on the implementation and promotion of related programmes and projects, as well as on the furtherance of cooperation and partnership at all levels in order to help to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the resolution, UN Member States invited the Secretary-General, with the support of UN-Water, to take appropriate steps, within existing resources, to plan and organize the activities of the Decade at the global, regional and country levels. To set the agenda in motion, UN-Water, in its 26th meeting in Geneva in February 2017, decided on the establishment of a Task Force to facilitate its support to the planning and organisation.

The Decade will commence on World Water Day 22 March 2018, and terminate on World Water Day, 22 March 2028.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 March 2017

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28 February 2017

Danube Portal was created to navigate a unique east-west corridor

The Danube River, which flows for 2 857 kilometres, is one of the key corridors for transporting people and goods, and connecting Western and Eastern Europe.

However, the waterway is under-exploited as it is estimated that only 10 % of its transport capacity is being used. The NEWADA, IRIS Europe II and FAIRway projects have the shared goal of improving the transport capacity of the Danube and its tributaries.

The NEWADA project, completed in March 2012, prompted the synchronised development of the waterway and the setting of common qualitative standards. It brought together 12 institutions from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Ukraine for waterway maintenance and river navigation.

Better cooperation in hydrography and hydrology helped to save resources and improve quality and compliance with environmental standards. The application of information and communication technologies on the Danube was also improved thanks to the development of various RIS components, such as the harmonisation and enhancement of electronic navigational charts.

One-stop info point

Under the NEWADA duo project, a Danube Region information portal ( ) was created to provide data on water levels and critical bottlenecks, as well as notices to skippers, ice warnings, WiFi hotspot information, etc.

Based on these projects’ results, in 2014, transport ministers from the Danube countries adopted the Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries. The FAIRway project, involving the waterway administrations of six EU Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania), aims to implement this plan and to buy modern equipment for hydrological services. The goal is to provide up-to-date, reliable and harmonised information on critical spots on the waterway, water levels and water-level prognoses along the entire length of the Danube. Such databanks are important not only for planning waterway transportation, but also for maintenance, hydro-construction measures or adjustments to the current water flow.

Go to Danube Portal

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 28 February 2017

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28 February 2017

World Water Day on 22 March 2017

World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.

The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.

This year's theme is wastewater.

Globally, the vast majority of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused - polluting the environment, and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.

Instead of wasting wastewater, we need to reduce and reuse it. In our homes, we can reuse greywater on our gardens and plots. In our cities, we can treat and reuse wastewater for green spaces. In industry and agriculture, we can treat and recycle discharge for things like cooling systems and irrigation.

By exploiting this valuable resource, we will make the water cycle work better for every living thing. And we will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6 target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse.

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 28 February 2017

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07 February 2017

World Bank and Kosovo Sign Project to Support Water Security in Kosovo

The Minister of Finance of the Republic of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti, and the World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo, Marco Mantovanelli, signed today the Letters of Agreements for the Kosovo Water Security and Canal Protection Project. The project aims to restore the main water canal in Kosovo - Ibër Canal - to its original capacity. This will ensure that more reliable and better quality water benefits approximately 500,000 people residing in the central Kosovo canal basin, and becomes a supporting factor for economic and social development.

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 February 2017

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07 February 2017

Success Stories from the Danube Region

After five years of implementation, significant achievements of the EUSDR are becoming evident. The purpose of this publication is to give examples of what has been achieved together, based on the cooperation at macro-regional scale in the Danube Region. These projects and achievements exemplify the added value of the Danube Strategy and will provide further motivation for continuing to cooperate along this successful path in order to contribute to the balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth of the Danube Region.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 February 2017

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07 February 2017

2nd call of the Danube Transnational Programme: InfoDays organised at national level

The 2nd call for proposals of the Danube Transnational Programme is planned to be officially launched in Spring 2017. 

In order to support potential applicants in the preparation of their proposals, DTP National Contact Points have planned, in different countries of the Danube Region, a series of Info Day events. During these events, participants will be given more detailed information about the 2nd call, the rules applying at national level and how to submit high-quality proposals.

The following list of events will be updated with new events to be organised in other Danube countries. We invite you to check it frequently to know more about additional planned events.

For more information about the events, please contact the DTP National Contact Points

More Information

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 07 February 2017

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25 January 2017

European Union takes over ICPDR Presidency for 2017 from the Czech Republic

VIENNA, 23 January (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) - As the European Union takes over the annual Presidency of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) today, incoming President Peter Gammeltoft has set three main priorities for his term: strengthening of financial support for the ICPDR, assessing the impact of agricultural activities on the Danube River Basin environment, and increasing the visibility of the ICPDR.

More information

Contributed by Patricia Lopez on 25 January 2017

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10 January 2017

Resilience – Lost in Translation, Found in Exploration

Great article on the importance of language written by Miharu Hirano and Carolina Latorre from IWA.

A lot has been said, agreed and done in 2016 towards achieving the new sustainable development agenda, and 2017 offers further opportunity for progress. The next stage of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is, as Angel Gurría, Secretary General of the OECD, has playfully remarked, “implementation, implementation, implementation—although not necessarily in that order”. What exactly will this mean in operational terms for the water sector, to ‘shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path’?

Translating ‘resilience’

States have committed to “implementation” of the SDGs, providing for a systematic follow-up and review at national, regional and global levels; a global indicator framework was agreed in March last year on a set of over 230 indicators but this is yet to be done at regional, national and subnational levels.

The first challenge when addressing global goals through local implementation is understanding the goals. Linguistics doesn’t help much here. The origin of the English word ‘resilience’ is usually attributed to Latin resilīre, meaning to spring back. While French and Spanish have the equivalent word for it—résiliente and resiliente, respectively -such literal translation doesn’t work for other language groups.


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 10 January 2017

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14 December 2016

The New Gold: Providing Quality Water and Sanitation in Bulgaria

Panagyurishte is a town of 16,564 inhabitants in Central Bulgaria, situated in a small valley in the Sredna Gora Mountains. While the town is perhaps most well-known for an archaeological treasure trove of golden artifacts discovered in 1949, residents today are concerned more with a different resource: water.

In July, 2014 the residents of Panagyuriste woke to find that no water was available in their homes and a 12-hour daily water rationing had been introduced. For most, it was 2008 all over again - when, for more than a month in the summer, the mayor proclaimed a state of emergency and water tanks were placed in the streets.

Read more

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 14 December 2016

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12 December 2016

Tirana, Albania

SHUKALB Meets GIZ to Discuss Regional Training Framework


Left to Right: Pavle Donev, Component Manager, GIZ ORF; Alexandra Press, Consultant, GIZ ORF; Elisabeta Poci, Project Manager, SHUKALB; Philip Giantris, Executive Director, SHUKALB

On 12 December, SHUKALB met with staff of the German Development Cooperation under its Open Regional Fund (GIZ-ORF) to discuss an upcoming project financed jointly by GIZ-ORF and the Swiss Economic Cooperation (SECO) regarding the development of a Regional Training Framework.  The purpose of the Project is to enhance and strengthen capacity development delivery capacities to ensure the development and delivery of demand driven high quality capacity development measures for both Public Utility Companies and Local Government Units, in eight countries in the region, among which Albania, in a collaborative and sustainable manner.  The discussion was focused on the potential role that SHUKALB could play in this Project that is planned to start in the second quarter of 2017.

Because of its work, and specifically the USAID funded Sustainable Water Sector Capacity Development Project, SHUKALB is positioned as a leader among the other water associations in the Western Balkan Region and beyond, with its training program and the sustainable way of training delivery, as well as its unique Test-Based Certification Program for the operators of water supply and sewerage companies.  As was highlighted by the GIZ ORF team in their presentation, SHUKALB’s participation would bring value to the Regional Training Facility Project, both in terms of the expertise that its staff has developed with training development and delivery, but most importantly the training courses that SHUKALB has created and owns today, thanks to the Sustainable Water Sector Capacity Development Project.

The Regional Training Facility Project will be collecting training course materials that exist in the region and will develop a platform for distribution and sharing of these training materials among the water associations in the region, in order to boost the training offered to the staff of water supply and sewerage utilities, in their respective countries.  It has been SHUKALB’s aim, since the inception of its USAID funded Project, to share the training courses it is developing with its “sister” water associations in the region, as a way to promoting training and capacity building beyond the boundaries of Albania.  The Project has been developing the training courses in the English language, in order to make it easier for the water associations to translate them into their local languages.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 10 January 2017

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01 December 2016

The Drin River Basin: A Shared Resource and A Shared Responsibility

The Young Water Professionals (YWP) Group of Albania has been engaged in a Project titled, “The Drin River Basin: A Shared Resource and A Shared Responsibility”.   The Project started in the Fall of 2015 and they have been developing it, working closely with two different student groups from  Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) from the United States.  During the Fall of 2015 the YWP, with the WPI student group that year, conducted research on the physical features of the Drin River as a basis for planning a “float” down the river, to photo document the river and to interview people who live, work and play along the river.

With a detailed “float” plan developed, the YWP made a series of floats in the Spring and Summer of 2016, along different segments of the river, to undertake the filming and interviewing for a planned documentary.

In October 2016, a second team of students from WPI arrived in Albania and immediately started to work with the YWP to review all of the filming produced, conduct additional interviews, and develop the script and story of the documentary.

Now the YWP team and the student group from Worcester Polytechnic Institute are on the final phase of the Project in the production of the documentary, which will be presented on 14 December to a large, invited audience at  the Civil Engineering Faculty in Tirana.

Here you can find the exciting trailer of the Project.

Beyond their engagement on the Project, on 23 November, Mr. Fjordi Bisha, a representative of the YWP Albania Group and Ms. Sydney Brooks, representing the team of students from WPI, were invited to participate on the Top Channel Albania TV show titled “Wake Up”, to talk and raise public awareness on the Project.  You may watch the show here.

Contributed by Danubis on 04 January 2017

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17 November 2016

World Toilet Day on 19 November

World Toilet Day, on 19 November, is about taking action to reach the 2.4 billion people living without a toilet. The theme of World Toilet Day 2016 is ‘toilets and jobs’, focusing on how sanitation, or the lack of it, can impact people’s livelihoods.
Sanitation is a global development priority. The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone everywhere has access to toilets by 2030.  
Toilets play a crucial role in creating a strong economy, as well as improving health and protecting people’s safety and dignity, particularly women’s and girls’.
The UN and its partners are getting the message out that toilets save lives, increase productivity, create jobs and grow economies.
To learn more about the connection between toilets and jobs, please download the factsheet.
To take action and join the global movement, please go to

Top facts:

  • 2.4 billion People live without improved sanitation (World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF 2015).
  • One in ten people has no choice but to defecate in the open (WHO/UNICEF 2015).
  • Diarrhoea caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kills 315,000 children every year (WAS-Hwatch 2016).
  • Disease transmission at work mostly caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices, causes 17% of all workplace deaths (International Labour Organization (ILO) 2003).
  • Loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to 5% of GDP (Hutton 2012).


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 November 2016

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17 November 2016

Article on "Addressing the urban sanitation crisis: time for a radical shift"

This article was submitted by Martin Gambrill to the Water Blog.

"A successful city is economically and culturally vibrant, healthy, safe, clean and attractive to business and tourism, and provides quality of life to its citizens. This vision is appealing but remains hard to realize as developing cities have to cope with changing demographics and climate with limited financial and human resources. The sustainable development goals have given a new impetus for cities to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG11), ensure citizens’ health and wellbeing (SDG3) and secure access to sustainable water and sanitation services (SDG6).

World Toilet Day on November 19th is the opportunity to remind ourselves of a few facts and propose a set of guiding principles for a renewed and revitalized urban sanitation agenda."

Read more

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 17 November 2016

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15 November 2016

DWP Photo Contest - win free conference registration!

The Danube Water Program (DWP) is seeking new photos to be published on the DWP Website and for promotional issues. Thus, the DWP announces a photo contest among its partners to represent the whole diversity of the Danube region. The prize for the best picture is a free registration to the IWA Specialist Conference on Benchmarking and Performance Assessment (PI2017) and the Danube Water Conference 2017 jointly held in Vienna on 15-18 May 2017.

The Danube Water Programs would also like to encourage Young Water Professionals to participate in the photo contest. Please find furhter information and the Terms and Policy below.

Please note that the deadline has been extended to 31 December 2016!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 15 November 2016

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09 November 2016

Tirana, Albania

Sustainable Water Sector Capacity Development in Albania Project:Update on Ministerial Certification Working Group

Working Group meetingThe Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Certification Working Group, along with the Utility Advisory Committee, met the SHUKALB Project Group, on November 9th, to receive feedback from the various institutions, as well as water utility stakeholders, on the draft documents that the Project has prepared and shared regarding the institutional framework and  technical aspects of the Test-Based Certification Program for Operational Managers in the Water Supply and Wastewater Sector in Albania.

The discussion was particularly focused on the proposed career path for the individuals who are working, or who plan to start working in a water supply and sewerage utility.  The participants discussed the education and experience requirements recommend by the Project, as part of the requirements for certification at the different levels of certification.  The last part of the meeting included a discussion on the implementation strategy and the estimation of the number of people to be certified, as well as the costs associated with this process.

Following the feedback and recommendations of the Working Group and the Utility Advisory Committee, the Project Group will be supporting the Ministry in drafting the required legal documents that will be needed to support the implementation of the Test-Based Certification Program.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 16 December 2016

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09 November 2016

Tirana, Albania

Dr. Catherine Johnson, USAID Meets with Mr. Sokol Dervishaj, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure

In light of the significant support being provided by USAID to the Albanian Water Sector, through the Sustainable Water Sector Capacity Development in Albania Project, SHUKALB had the pleasure to arrange a meeting between Mr. Sokol Dervishaj, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, the main institution that is leading the process for the establishment of a Test-Based Certification Program for the staff of water and wastewater utilities in Albania, and Dr. Catherine Johnson, Country Representative for USAID in Albania.

Since both Minister Dervishaj and Dr. Johnson are relatively new to their positions, this was their first opportunity to meet and discuss the needs of the water sector in Albania.  The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Minister on the Project, the progress made to date, and what lies ahead in the final institutionalization of the efforts of the Ministerial Working Group in that regard.

Minister Dervishaj expressed his genuine interest in the Project and his support to this joint initiative with USAID.  One of the issues discussed, towards the end of the meeting, was the financial support that the Certification Program will need for the initial phase of implementation, at least partially.  This concern was acknowledged also by Dr. Johnson, who expressed her support in helping the Government of Albania in approaching the donor agencies that are active in the water supply and sewerage sector in Albania.  In line with that purpose, it was jointly agreed with the Minister to organize a roundtable of donors in order to share and discuss the Test-Based Certification Program and the possibilities for support by the donors.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 16 December 2016

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08 November 2016

Floating the Drin River in Albania!

What an amazing job done by the YWP Albania Group in cooperation with YWP Kosovo and a team from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute! They made a river float and documentary to raise awareness about the Drin River in Albania.
SHUKALB and YWP Albania sought to promote the river as a means of connecting cleanup efforts throughout the Drin River Basin and motivating people to take action to improve the conditions of the river.
Watch the video here!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 08 November 2016

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02 November 2016

Get an Energy audit for free!

Did you know that organic matter contained in EU municipal wastewater accounts for a chemical energy potential equivalent to 12 large power stations?
in 2017, partners of POWERSTEP will offer free energy audits of your city wastewater treatment plant. The audit will allow your municipality to access detailed information on its wastewater treatment plant energy profile (electricity/heat demand and production) as well as to receive a full audit report with tailored recommendations to improve its energy balance. The benefits of applying cutting-edge technologies, such as the ones demonstrated under Powerstep, will be provided.

The audits will be carried out in the period January 2017 - December 2017 by the industry partner Veolia, using the energy audit software OCEAN.

Who can apply?
Powerstep partners will offer free energy audits of wastewater treatment plants to 10 European municipalities.The selection will aim to ensure the widest possible geographical and technology coverage in order to secure the representativeness of the project's results.

Apply for the POWERSTEP free energy audits before 30 November 2016 by filling in the on-line form.


Additional Information

Contributed by Danubis on 02 November 2016

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28 October 2016

Hanoi, Vietnam

Executive Director, Philip Giantris, Visits Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association in Hanoi

While making a planned, personal visit to Vietnam in September, Philip Giantris, Executive Director of SHUKALB, arranged for an official visit at the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association in Hanoi.  He was received by one of the Vice Chairmen of the Association, Mr. Ung Quoc Dzung, Associate Professor, PhD, and several members of the staff.  Mr. Giantris made a PowerPoint presentation on the current status of the water supply and sewerage sector in Albania, as well as an overview of SHUKALB and it various areas of activity.

Mr. Dzung showed great interest in the training and certification program that SHUKALB is developing under its USAID Grant, and inquired as to how the Vietnam Association might benefit from the materials being developed.  He also showed interest in our University Student Summer Internship Program, our Young Water Professionals Group, and our training and initiatives in water sector policy advocacy.  It was agreed that the two Associations would explore ways and resources by which a stronger partnership might be developed, and how the two Associations might be able to share experiences and knowledge to strengthen the programs of both Associations into the future.

Mr. Giantris, who served as an Officer in the U.S. Army, during the armed conflict in Vietnam, was treated very warmly, and as a very special guest, by his newly found friends in Hanoi.  Mr.Giantris was personally hosted, throughout his stay in Hanoi, by Mr. Minh Hai Ngo, of the Associations International Relations Department.

During his time in Hanoi, Mr. Giantris also visited with the Deputy General Director of the Hanoi Water Works, Eng. Tran Quoc Hung, at the offices of the utility, to learn more about the specific challenges that are being faced by the second largest water utility in Vietnam, which has over 870,000 customer connections.   Eng. Tran listed the following as some of their major concerns:

  • Developing New Water Supply Sources
  • Capital Investment to Meet the Aggressive Master Plan
  • Further reduction of Non-Revenue Water from about 25% to 15%
  • Better control of industrial discharges to the sewers and local water bodies

Picture Book Gift to Vietnam Association

In the photo above, Mr. Giantris presents a picture book on Albania to Mr. Dzung and his staff during the visit at the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association Offices in Hanoi.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 06 October 2016

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11 October 2016

New material available dealing with Launching or Revitalizing Regulatory Systems

At The Body of Knowledge on Infrastructure Regulation - - new material is available dealing with Launching or Revitalizing Regulatory Systems (including strategies for operators, since suppliers are part of the “system”).  Many of the lessons are directed at fragile and conflict-affected states, but the lessons and cases apply to most nations with relatively new regulatory systems.

For example, the new Frequently Asked Questions examine data issues, KPIs, setting targets and incentives, public participation (transparency) and addressing improper political interference:
•    Targets for Fragile States - How should performance targets be set, and how can performance be monitored when there is limited data availability and/or the quality of the data is uncertain?
•    Targets for Transition/Transformation States - In a more stable or advanced setting, how should performance targets be set, and how can performance be monitored when there is relatively limited data availability and/or the quality of the data is uncertain?
•    KPIs for Fragile States - What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for evaluating sector performance and how can they be used effectively by regulators? (For nations that are in the Crisis or Rebuild and Reform stages)
•    KPIs for Transition/Transformation States - What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for evaluating sector performance and how can they be used effectively by regulators? (For nations that are in the Transition and Transformation stages)
•    Incentives - What are the ways to incentivize service expansion, performance and cost containment when a utility’s assets have not been maintained, cash flows are weak, and management is unresponsive to “traditional” penalties?
•    Public Participation - What are the most effective strategies for involving the public in regulatory issues?
•    Addressing Improper Political Interference - How can persons performing regulatory functions or developing regulatory instruments protect their work from improper political interference while, at the same time, maintaining accountability to the political wishes of the population?

The site also contains useful narratives and an annotated reading list that should be helpful to those developing programs to address issues like NRW, collections, and benchmarking.  Soon, a self-assessment tool will be added to the portal—helping leaders assess their current situations and providing discussion points for leaders and the people they work with and serve.  The Self-Assessment Survey would be an excellent tool to stimulate discussion at workshops and other meetings—both for professionals within a country and cross-country projects.    

Go to the website for more information!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 11 October 2016

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30 September 2016

World Bank supports water security in Kosovo

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a €22 million ($24.5 million equivalent) credit for the Kosovo Water Security and Canal Protection Project. The new project aims to restore the main water canal in Kosovo - Ibër Canal - to its original capacity. This will ensure that more reliable and better quality water benefits approximately 500,000 people residing in the central Kosovo canal basin, and becomes a supporting factor for economic and social development.

The central/northern high-lying plateau that covers about half of the country’s territory has limited water resources. Yet, it is precisely this area that holds the country’s largest development potential because most of the mining, agricultural, and industrial activities are located here. This region has the highest population density in the country and is regarded as the commercial and administrative center of Kosovo.

“Improving the reliability and quality of water in central Kosovo is an important element of the government’s overall strategy to promote socioeconomic development and protect its natural resource base” said Ellen Goldstein, World Bank Country Director for Kosovo and Coordinator for Southeast Europe. “The World Bank is pleased to be a partner to Kosovo in managing its water resources for multiple uses.” 

The canal is a multipurpose water conveyance system supplying water for energy production, mining, industrial, agricultural, and household uses. Central Kosovo, including the capital Pristina, depends almost entirely on this canal to meet its water needs. Built in the 1970s, the canal infrastructure has been deteriorating over the years. Physical damage and pollution, as a result of landslides/mudslides, unstable soil, runoff from the surrounding farms and streets, garbage, and other debris, have affected the transit capacity of the canal as well as the quality of water.

“The Ibër Canal’s bulk water supply will be cleaner and more reliable, and this will benefit both urban and rural population of central Kosovo, through improvements in energy, agriculture, industry, and municipal water supply for domestic consumption,” said Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo.

One component of the project finances works to establish the Ibër canal transit capacity, enable closure of the canal for maintenance, strengthen the canal’s structural safety against extreme events, and enhance Gazivoda dam safety. These works include constructing a reservoir in Mihaliq area, which will enable cutting the canal flow whenever needed to rehabilitate the canal's closed sections or amid extreme events, and balancing water demand and supply over the 2035 horizon. Another component finances works and equipment for water resources protection and management to increase the system’s operational efficiency and protect water quality against renewed or accidental pollution and other man-made disruptions.

The project will be implemented between 2016 and 2022 by the Hydro Economic Iber-Lepenc Joint Stock Company and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Kosovo. It will be fully financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group. IDA credits are provided on concessional terms with zero or very low interest charge and long repayment periods. The credit for the Kosovo Water Security and Canal Protection Project has maturity of 25 years including 5 years of grace period.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 08 November 2016

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28 September 2016

Bulgaria to Receive World Bank Assistance to Protect its Nature

The World Bank will help Bulgaria protect and better manage its natural assets, like forests and air, as well as mitigate the risks of climate change. Two contracts for analytical and advisory services were signed today between the Bank and the Ministry of Environment and Water to be funded under the EU Operational Programs Environment and Good Governance. The third contract for forestry, supported by EU Rural Development Funds, was endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food earlier this month.

Under the contract for addressing the climate risks the World Bank will assess the macroeconomic implications of climate change in Bulgaria. World Bank experts will study key sectors including agriculture, forestry, water, transport and infrastructure, and their findings will contribute to Bulgaria’s Climate Change National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. According to the World Bank report from 2014, Bulgaria is exposed to almost all types of natural disasters and perils associated with climate change. Those risks may cause loss of human life as well as damages worth millions of euros every year, largely affecting economic stability and growth. Since 1999, the frequency of natural disasters in Bulgaria has increased significantly, and 10 calamities have been recorded between 2004 and 2006.

The second contract will help develop local programs for air quality management in order to meet EU directive and requirements. The European Commission has set up ambitious targets for reducing air pollution by 2020. According to the recent World Bank global report “The Cost of Air Pollution”, air pollution has emerged as the fourth factor for premature death worldwide. Those deaths cost the global economy about 200 billion euro in lost labor income in 2013. The report also argues that pollution may have a lasting effect on economic productivity and may contribute to inequality.

The World Bank team will also help to establish the National Forest Inventory by supporting Bulgaria in developing the sampling and methodology design and then implementing the agreed approach. This will help improve the statistical accuracy and integration of forest data in specialized software. As part of this work, the World Bank will also interpret orthophotos taken between 2012 and 2015 for all of Bulgaria. An orthophoto is an aerial photograph that has been geometrically corrected for distortions, making it equivalent to a map. Orthophotographs are commonly used in the creation of a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. Forests in Bulgaria cover more than 37 percent of the territory.

“Preserving the environment and protecting Bulgaria’s natural assets is a key objective in the new Country Partnership Framework for Bulgaria endorsed by the Board of Executive Directors in May this year,” said Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. “We are glad to be able to support the Government of Bulgaria with the World Bank’s global knowledge and to provide ideas on how to exploit natural resources in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all Bulgarians.”

All contracts need parliamentary ratification to take effect. The analytical work undertaken by the World Bank will be the property of the Bulgarian government.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 08 November 2016

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13 September 2016

The value of implementing workforce good practices for water utilities

Very intersting article on "The value of implementing workforce good practices for water utilities" by Cheryl Davis and Diana Guio (IWA).

Full article can be read here! You can also teake part in the survey to share your own examples of good practices in workforce sustainability.


Article outline:

"Staff knowledge, skills and motivation are critical factors for delivering high quality water and wastewater services, protecting public health and the environment. What do water organisations do to ensure qualified candidates and staff for mission-critical jobs and overall quality work? Innovation and best practices can be found in utilities around the globe.

In Albania, the Water Supply and Sewerage Association conducted a survey to identify the training needs of staff in their member agencies. Computer-aided design, billing and collection software systems, chlorination disinfection systems, and maintenance were identified as training priorities for utility staff. This cost-effective measure increased the competencies of staff within a number of utilities. In a similar way, the association is developing a training and certification system for water and wastewater treatment operators, with skilled employees of member utilities serving as instructors.

In Australia, Yarra Valley Water has worked since 2001 on building a constructive culture to meet their long-term corporate objectives. The aim is to engage staff productively by aligning their personal values and objectives with those of the organisation. Cultural fit became a measure for all staff. A comprehensive staff development program has a focus on mindset, resilience, innovation, constructive behaviors, goal setting and achievement thinking, as well as more traditional skills training!"


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 13 September 2016

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13 September 2016

The World Bank and the International Water Association to Establish a Partnership to Reduce Water Losses

The World Bank and the International Water Association (IWA) declared their intentions at World Water Week today to establish a global partnership to help countries, especially the poorest, improve management of water that is pumped but then lost or unaccounted for, called non-revenue water (NRW).

In developing countries, roughly 45 million cubic meters of water are lost daily with an economic value of over US$3 billion per year. Saving half of those losses would provide enough water to serve at least 90 million people. High levels of  NRW reflect huge volumes of water being lost through leaks, not being invoiced to customers, or both. Reducing NRW can significantly improve the performance of public water utilities in developing countries.

The two international organizations set out to collaborate on a joint program that aims to capture good practices in the use of performance based contracts (PBCs) to reduce NRW, raise awareness on the issue of NRW, simplify and streamline the preparation of such contracts, and support their implementation in developing countries in the next few years. Furthermore the partnership will build the market of suppliers at the local level.

Full statement of Intent can be found here!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 13 September 2016

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12 September 2016

Review of monitoring methodologies for SDG 6 global indicators


Article can be found here:

"In approaching the 2030 Agenda with a dedicated goal on water and sanitation, it was recognized that the sector at large would require a coherent monitoring framework, with improved data collection and analysis, covering the whole water cycle. To meet this need, a number of United Nations agencies joined forces under the UN-Water umbrella to develop theIntegrated Monitoring of Water and Sanitation Related SDG Targets (GEMI)initiative.


Integrating and expanding on existing monitoring efforts, draft methodologies for all global SDG 6 indicators have been developed. The methodologies are sensitive to national needs and realities, and have been designed to enable Member States to monitor SDG 6 at a level in line with their national capacity and available resources, and from there advance progressively.


In a first stakeholder consultation in Geneva in January 2015, feedback on the initial methodologies was received from Member State representatives and other relevant stakeholders, and throughout 2015, the methodologies were continuously refined based on feedback from the Member State-led Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs). Starting in April 2016, the methodologies have been introduced to a small number of countries for in-depth pilot testing.


We are now inviting a larger audience to review and provide feedback on the methodologies. Should you be interested in doing so, please find below a standard form for providing feedback, as well as links to the different methodologies. We would be grateful to receive your feedback by 31 October 2016. Please email the completed form (one for each methodology reviewed) to Will Reidhead, Global Monitoring Officer at UN-Water.


For an introduction to the methodologies please refer to

For more general information about the Integrated Monitoring initiative for SDG 6 please refer to the brochure Monitoring Water and Sanitation in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - An introduction.


Based on the learning from the in-country pilot testing and this broader review, the methodologies will be revised by the end of 2016, to allow for global implementation starting in 2017, and a global baseline for SDG 6 by 2018.


Standard form to provide feedback on the monitoring methodologies:

Download the standard form here 


Monitoring methodologies under review:

DRAFT Step-by-step methodology for 6.3.1 on wastewater treatment

DRAFT Step-by-step methodology for 6.3.2 on ambient water quality

DRAFT Step-by-step methodology for 6.4.1 on water use efficiency

DRAFT Step-by-step methodology for 6.4.2 on water stress

DRAFT Step-by-step methodology for 6.5.1 on integrated water resources management

DRAFT Step-by-step methodology for 6.5.2 on transboundary cooperation

DRAFT Step-by-step methodology for 6.6.1 on water-related ecosystems 


Contributed by Elvira Broeks on 12 September 2016

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09 September 2016

Tirana, Albania

Sokol Dervishaj Introduced as the New Minister of Transport and Infrastructure

The new Minister of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI), Sokol Dervishaj, was introduced to the staff of the Ministry on 09 September by the former Minister Edmond Haxhinasto and Deputy Prime Minister Niko Peleshi.  Former Minister Haxhinasto praised the MTI’s staff for its efforts over the last three years, achieving important objectives.  Mr. Haxhinasto stated that Minister Sokol Dervishaj, who has a long experience in administration, will provide a major contribution to meet the challenges that continue to be faced in the Transport and Infrastructure sector.

In his speech, Minister Sokol Dervishaj praised the work of former Minister Haxhinasto, and emphasized that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure will continue the work to achieve the objectives.  Minister Dervishaj said, “the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure’s priorities for ensuring more quality services to citizens are not only of this Ministry, but also the priorities of the Governing Alliance”.  Mr. Dervishaj promised his full commitment to meet these objectives.

Deputy Prime Minister Niko Peleshi thanked former Minister Edmond Haxhinasto for his contribution to the Ministry during what were three challenging years to introduce major reforms in local government and the water sector.  Mr. Peleshi stressed that the long experience Mr. Dervishaj brings to his new assignment, in central and local government, will have a positive impact at the continuation of the reforms in the Transport and Infrastructure sector.

The content of this article was taken from the website of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and translated by SHUKALB.  SHUKALB would like to thank former Minister Haxhinasto for his great support on the reforms taken in the water sector, and to wish success to the new Minister, Sokol Dervishaj.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 06 October 2016

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18 August 2016

Five ways to crack the water sector’s glass ceiling

Very interesting article on the shortage of skilled labour in the water sector by Kirsten de Vette, IWA's Learning and Capacity Development Officer.

"The shortage of skilled labour in the water sector severely hampers our ability to meet current water and sanitation needs, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Addressing the future needs of growing populations, and rising demand for better and more accessible services, can only be addressed by a significant increase in the skilled workforce and a more diverse policy of recruitment.

Public and private water institutions struggle to maintain basic service levels. Water utility staff are stretched beyond capacity, skilled graduates are flocking to other sectors, and positions vacated by retiring males go unfilled, while females remain grossly underrepresented. Recommendations from the IWA’s new report, The Untapped Resource, shine a spotlight on how utilities can do more to encourage female professionals in the water sector. Something that will help meet the demands of a 21st century water sector workforce."

Full article can be read here!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 18 August 2016

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18 August 2016

Water Loss management will be critical to climate change adaptation

Article on Water Loss by Ronnie S. Mckenzie, Chair of the IWA Specialist Group on Water Loss:

"Water loss management is one of the most important issues facing water suppliers around the world. The Sustainable Development Goals have made poverty alleviation and access to safe drinking water a political priority. Targets on providing safe drinking water as a basic human right aim to ensure everyone can access a safe water supply. Unfortunately, the reality is that many of the most vulnerable around the globe still struggle to find a reliable supply of safe drinking water."

Full article can be read here!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 18 August 2016

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03 August 2016

Tirana, Albania

Engagement of Albanian Water Experts in the Project

In the efforts of fulfilling the Mission Objective 4 of the Albanian Water Supply and Sewerage Services Sector Strategy (2011-2017), particularly Priority Action 4.a: “Establish a national program of training and certification, with training target requirements at all water utilities”, the Project has engaged the best Local Experts in the water sector, who come from different Albanian institutions, such as universities, water utilities, consulting companies and governmental institutions.

The major aspects of the Local Experts engagement in the Project consists of providing feedback on the course materials based on its application within the Albanian context, and to provide documented case studies and examples from their Albanian and/or Western Balkans experience to enrich the training course material.

Local Experts that have been engaged under the Project, as per the respective Training Course focus area, are as follows:

  • Management Courses
    • Avni Dervishi, Civil Engineer, former Chairman of Albanian Water Regulatory Commission
    • Semira Kasimati, Director-Business Services Water/Wastewater Utility Business Planning and Customer Services, Valu Add Management Services Tirana
    • Rozarta Pura, Deputy Chief of Human Resources Department, UK Durres
    • Prof. As. Dr. Etleva Leskaj, Lecturer, Faculty of Economy, Tirana University
    • Valbona Paja, Sector Supervisor, UK Shkodra
    • Sonila Ahmetaga, Finance Manager, UK Shkodra
    • Ilir Hoxha, Former Media and Public Relation Adviser, UK Tirana
    • Prof. As. Dr. Ilirjan Lipi, Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, University “Ismail Qemali”, Vlora
    • Esida Lekbello, Environmental Engineer, Valu Add Management Services
    • Migena Kukli, Environmental Engineer
    • PHD Doloreza Sinanaj, Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, University of Tirana
    • PHD Evis Gjebrea, Deputy Director, UK Tirana


  • Water Courses (Distribution and Treatment)
    • Ndricim Shani, Hydrotechnical Engineer, Chairman of Albanian Water Regulatory Commission
    • Besjon Brahaj, Head of Sector for Billing and Collection Sector , UK Tirana
    • Denis Hallulli, Engineer on Metering Sector , UK Tirana
    • Eraldo Pampuri, Balance Engineer, UK Tirana
    • Erda Kola, Production Engineer, Bovilla Water Treatment Implant, UK Tirana
    • Prof. Dr. Tania Floqi, Lecturer, Environmental Department, Faculty of Civil Engineering
    • Sejla Kokojka, Chemical Engineer, Wastewater Department, UK Korca
    • Ervin Bucpapaj, Environmental Engeneer
    • Pirro Ndreu, Chief Engineer, UK Fier
    • Lorenc Facja, Hydrotechnical Engineer, Head of Technical Branch, UK Durres
    • Elsa Karajani, Biochemist, Master Degree at University of Genova
    • Endri Piero, Environmental Engineer, UK Tirana


  • Wastewater Courses (Collection and Treatment)
    • Alket Kumaraku, Lecturer, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic University of Tirana
    • Prof. Dr. Enkelejda Gjinali, Engineer, Polytechnic University of Tirana
    • Arlinda Ibrahimllari, Engineering Head of Waste Water Services Department, UK Korca
    • Dashnor Dervishaj, Head of Sewerage Sector, UK Tirana
    • Erind Doci, Sector Supervisor, Wastewater Sector, 3rd Unit, UK Tirana
    • Marsida Nikshiqi, Environmental Engineer, UK Shkodra
    • Besiana Llazani, Environmental Engineer, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

The Project has planned to deliver a Train-of-Trainers (ToT) programme with the purpose of providing the participants with the generic adult learning techniques, which can be used in any training course delivery, regardless of the subject.  The ToT programme will be delivered 2-times, the first TOT Training Course is planned to start in September 2016.

The Local Experts engaged with supporting the ToT program are working under Component 1: Skills Training Courses, and the overall purpose of their assignment is to develop and deliver a comprehensive Training of Trainers Course.  During this work, the Experts are guided and advised by an International Expert who will be involved in all the steps of ToT development and delivery.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 11 August 2016

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03 August 2016

Korca, Albania

Arlinda Ibrahimllari, UK Korca, Elected as Chair of IWA Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee

SHUKALB is proud to announce that Ms. Arlinda Ibrahimllari has been elected as the new Chairperson of the International Water Association (IWA) Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee for the period September 2016- September 2018.  Stated more simply, Arlinda has risen to become chosen by her international peers to lead them as the top Young Water Professional in the World.

The Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee is a representative body of young members (35 and below) that provides advice to IWA about appropriate ways to serve the needs of young water professionals in areas such as networking, continuous learning, and professional development.  It also works to interest, engage and contribute young water professionals to participate in IWA’s programs, conferences, and specialist groups at the national and international level.

“I believe that the most important water challenges of today will be solved by the water professionals of tomorrow and I want to do what I can to ensure that we as the Young Water Professionals have the tools and exposure needed to be fruitful and successful!” said Arlinda in this regard.

Arlinda Ibrahimllari is the Chairperson of the Young Water Professionals Group of Albania, and she serves as the Engineering Head of the Waste Water Services Department at the Water Supply and Sewerage Company of Korca.

Arlinda’s success shows, through her true commitment, what can be a promising future for all Young Water Professionals of Albania.  In addition, it is recognition of SHUKALB’s efforts for promoting the younger generation of water professionals inside and outside Albania.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 11 August 2016

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25 July 2016

EURO Access Danube Region - new search tool for EU funding

The Danube Region is home to 110 million people and comprises 14 countries from the EU and its neighbours. For these communities and for potential business owners it is essential to enhance their access to available European funds. A variety of actors from start-ups, small and medium sized enterprises, NGOs, local authorities and research institutes are eligible for EU funding.

On the new website EuroAccess Danube Region you can find the right EU programme to fund your project idea. This new site is one of the practical benefits of closer cooperation in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

The EuroAccess platform lists the most relevant sources of funding from EU programs in the Danube Region. Moreover, it provides important information on current calls for project proposals.

You can focus your search by selecting:
• the topics addressed in your project
• your type of organisation
• the geographic scope of your project
• or the type of funding you are looking for

As a registered user on the site you can also:
• save calls for proposals relevant to your area of activity as a PDF
• add interesting calls to your personalized funding basket
• sign up for a regular newsletter with the latest calls

Promotion video can be found here!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 25 July 2016

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22 July 2016

Tirana, Albania

Drin Basin – Shared Resource – Shared Responsibility

Float Team from l to r, Besjon Ndreu, YWP; Elisabeta Poci, Deputy Executive Director, SHUKALB; Anisa Aliaj, Course Development Specialist for Wastewater; Fjordi Bisha, Water and Wastewater Engineer, Valu Add Management Services; Philip Giantris, Executive Director, SHUKALB; Arbana Kola, Course Development Specialist for Water Supply

Float Team from left to right, Besjon Ndreu, Elisabeta Poci, Anisa Aliaj, Fjordi Bisha, Philip Giantris and Arbana Kola

SHUKALB has started the second phase of the project titled “The Drin Basin* Shared Resource* Shared Responsibility”. This project is in collaboration of the Young Water Professionals (YWP) Group of Albania, and a student group from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)(USA). The main goal was to design a program for increasing awareness about the Drin River as a precious natural resource, and also to raise awareness on the environmental issues concerning the river.

Start of the Float on the Black Drin River, at the Topojan Bridge, Peshkopi

Start of the Float on the Black Drin River, at the Topojan Bridge, Peshkopi

The project also aims to promote water advocacy through transboundary cooperation between water sector organizations of the Western Balkans. To work towards this goal, during 22-25 July, the YWP of Albania floated down the Drin on the segment from Topojan to Bushat.  Along the way, they met with different people and stakeholders, and in so doing, recorded interviews and collected images along the journey that will provide information for the development of a documentary.

The two next segments of the float in Albania, which will be from Fierzë to Koman, and from Shkodër to Velipojë, are planned to be in September 2016, so any YWP’s that want to be involve in the Project are welcomed to join.  In addition, there are floats planned for the White Drin with YWP’s from Kosovo, the Black Drin from Lake Ohrid to the Macedonian border with YWP’s from Macedonia, and Lake Shkoder south to the connection with the Buna River, with YWP’s from Montenegro.

For the final part of the Project, which will be in October-November 2016, another team of WPI students will come to Albania and will produce a documentary film using the archived materials from the previous phases of the Project.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 11 August 2016

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13 July 2016

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

SHUKALB Actively Involved in Collaborative Capacity Development Initiative for South East Europe

On 13th of July, SHUKALB was part of the 3rd workshop of the Project “Collaborative Capacity Development Initiative for Improved Water Supply and Sanitation Service Delivery in South East Europe ” funded by the German Development Agency (GIZ) and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SECO), in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  SHUKALB was represented by Ms. Elisabeta Poci, Deputy Executive Director, and Mrs. Olta Ceca, Manager of Programs and Training.

The Project aims at enhancing capacity development delivery to ensure, in a collaborative and sustainable manner, the development and delivery of demand driven, high quality, capacity development measures for both public utility companies (PUCs) and local government units (LGUs).  A total of 21 organizations have been contributing to the stakeholder workshops as “Project Owners”.

The workshop focused on discussing and clarifying the feedback from each organization regarding the Project document, so that all of the partners’ share a common understanding on the Project document and confirm their readiness to participate and contribute on the Project implementation.  The Project implementation is expected to take place during the period 2017-2020.

Contributed by Alban Kushi on 11 August 2016

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06 July 2016


UK Korca Wins Grant under Danube Water Program

The Water Supply and Sewerage Company of Korca (UK Korca), a member of SHUKALB, recently won a grant under the Danube Water Program.  The grant was awarded to UK Korca based on a competitive proposal process for a proposal titled “Improving Service Quality and Efficiency via Implementing a GIS Monitoring System and a Wide Informational Campaign in the New Regionalized Service Area”.

In order to prepare for the analysis and modelling of the functionality for future water supply and sewer system expansions, due to the new Terretorial Administrative Reforms across Albania,  UK Korca is using the Grant to draft action plans for providing its services in across a wider geographic area.  For this reason, UK Korca is planning to perform / implement an depth, GIS-based asset management (identification) programme that is going to pave the way for more proper investment planning.  This will allow for the implementation of parallel programs for water supply and sewerage network improvements in order to improve on the currently offered services, at an affordable cost.

Beyond the asset identification aspects of the Grant, UK Korca will also be integrating the GIS information with the existing modeling programs and utility data.  At the same time, the Public Relations Department, will be using this management tool in implementating its informational campaign targeting the population of the newly added communal areas and villages, making them familiar with all the obligations and the benefits of the new standardized water supply and sewerage services.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 06 July 2016

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06 July 2016

Tirana, Albania

Sustainable Water Sector Capacity Development Project Conducts Fifth Working Group Meeting

Mr. Chris McCord, Certification Expert, presenting certification program elements during Working Group meeting.

Mr. Chris McCord, Certification Expert, presenting certification program elements during Working Group meeting.

In the continuing effort to establish a Test- Based Certification Program for Operational Managers in the Water Supply and Wastewater Sector in Albania, SHUKALB’s USAID-funded Project Team and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure organized the fifth meeting of the Working Group.  The meeting was organized on 9thJune, at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, with the participation of key water sector stakeholders such as the Water Regulatory Authority, the Technical Secretariat of the National Water Council, and the Utility Advisory Committee, which is composed of a select group of Water Supply and Sewerage Utility Directors.

The focus of this meeting was to present and discuss the progress made by the Project Team with relation to Component II: Establishment of the Test-Based Certification Program for Operational Managers in the Water Supply and Wastewater Sector in Albania.

Following up on the feedback received from stakeholders at the previous meeting held in March 2016, and the feedback from Project’s pool of international experts, the Project Team, together with the Certification Expert, Mr. Chris McCord from the United States of America, presented a more developed version of the elements of the proposed certification program.

Members of Utility Advisory Committee discussing the elements of the certification pogram

Members of Utility Advisory Committee discussing the elements of the certification pogram

The stakeholders participated actively in the meeting through questions and discussions on the proposed approaches by the Project.  Based on the feedback and proposals made during this meeting on specific subjects, the Project will start drafting the Certification Policy and Standards.  This document will be further used by the Ministry to develop the required legislation for Certification to become a legal requirement that can be institutionalized within the current framework of relevant institutions in Albania.


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 06 July 2016

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05 July 2016

Philip Giantris Interviewed by Aqua Strategy on Albania’s Water Utility Reform

SHUKALB is pleased to share a feature article published by Aqua Strategy Magazine based on an interview with the Executive Director of SHUKALB, Philip Giantris.  The article focuses on the reforms in the water sector in Albania, as well as SHUKALB’s efforts on establishing a test-based certification program for the water and wastewater operational managers in Albania.  You can read the full article at the below link:

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 05 July 2016

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05 July 2016

Presentation on intelligent meters held by Darius Bor

At the National Benchmarking Workshop, organized by the Center of Excellence for Benchmarking of the Romanian Water Association ( on 15-16 June 2016, Darius Bor, Benchmarking and Financial Expert at S.C. APASERV SATU MARE S.A., Romania held a presentation on intelligent meters. A similar presentation of Darius was very well received at the Danube Water Conference 2016, thus it is made available via DANUBIS.

Contributed by Danubis on 05 July 2016

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04 July 2016

New Website Resource on Infrastructure Regulations -

Developed by the Public Utility Research Center (PURC) at the University of Florida, in collaboration with the University of Toulouse, the Pontificia Universidad Catolica, the World Bank and a panel of international experts, the Body of Knowledge on Infrastructure Regulation (BoKIR) summarizes some of the best thinking on infrastructure policy. Funding for this project came from the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF).

This site provides links to more than 500 references, an extensive glossary and self-testing features to facilitate learning. The references include publications and decisions by regulatory agencies and other governmental bodies; policy advisories by think tanks, consultants, donor agencies, and others; and research by academics, consultants, and other experts.

The World Bank staff, academics, regulators, government officials and consultants who worked on the BoKIR hope that it provides a standard set of regulatory concepts and readings to which regulators throughout the world should be exposed, thus affording them opportunities for shared knowledge across countries and sectors, and for improved regulatory practices.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 04 July 2016

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14 June 2016

Meeting of the International Water Association Specialist Group on Statistics and Economics, Bucharest

On May 16, 2016, the meeting of the IWA Specialist Group on Statistics and Economics was held in Budapest on invitation of the Romanian Water Association (ARA).

A brief overview on what was discussed during the meeting including pictures can be found in the enclosed pdf prepared by Teodor Popa, Vice Chair of the IWA Specialist Group on Statistics and Economics.


Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 14 June 2016

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19 May 2016

New Brochure on water platform

Find out more about and how it can help YOU to stay informed!

Are you interested in:

  • utility performance
  • country or sector resources
  • events or training programs

or do you wish:

  • to share an event or a resource
  • to establish a country portal

Have a look into the brochure and see what can do for you!

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 19 May 2016

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11 May 2016

Danubis Memorandum of Understanding signed at the Danube Water Conference 2016

At the 4th Danube Water Conference, held on 11-13 May in Vienna, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the newly developed Danubis DCM Platform was signed between IAWD and four participating countries represented by their Managing Institutions (Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia). Whereas the website facilitates the management of a regional utility performance database accessible for all, the Danubis DCM comprises the development of an optional regional Data Collection and Management platform. The DCM platform allows utility companies to enter utility performance data in an amicable web interface and helps national institutions to check the quality and consistency of the data provided as well as to manage and safeguard the data in a secure manner. The next action to be taken in this context is the translation of training materials and a workshop on the use of the DCM platform in June.

Contributed by Katerina Schilling on 19 May 2016

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27 April 2016

Get DANUBIS updates straight to your inbox... has now launched an automated email update service, which will notify you every time a new event, resource or news is made available on You can subscribe very simply by using the form on DANUBIS' first page, or by creating a user profile and adjusting your DANUBIS update preferences. 

All registered DANUBIS users have been automatically subscribed - but you can unsubscribe easily in your user profile. 

Contributed by David Michaud on 27 April 2016

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01 March 2016

ADKOM signs Letter of Intent to join DANUBIS Data Collection and Management platform

On March 1st, ADKOM, the municipal utility association for FYR Macedonia, signed a letter of intent directed to IAWD to confirm their intention to join the DANUBIS Data Collection and Management (DCM) platform. This will mark the fourth country to signal their commitment to use the platform, after institutions in Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia signed similar letters in 2015.

The DANUBIS DCM platform is a free, online platform that can be used by national institutions to collect, validate, manage and analyze utility performance data in their respective countries. 

A beta version of the platform has already been developed and will proceed to piloting over the coming months with the respective national Managing Institutions. Contact the DANUBIS team for more information. 

Contributed by David Michaud on 21 April 2016

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