Mar 31, 2017
Early bird registration until 31 March 2017
ORGANIZER: TU Wien
LOCATION: Vienna, Austria
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.
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.
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 ( www.danubeportal.com ) 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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’?
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.
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.
12 December 2016
SHUKALB Meets GIZ to Discuss Regional Training Framework
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.
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.
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 www.worldtoiletday.info
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."
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!
09 November 2016
Sustainable Water Sector Capacity Development in Albania Project:Update on Ministerial Certification Working Group
The 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.
09 November 2016
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.
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!
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.
28 October 2016
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:
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.
11 October 2016
New material available dealing with Launching or Revitalizing Regulatory Systems
At The Body of Knowledge on Infrastructure Regulation - www.regulationbodyofknowledge.org - 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!
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.
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.
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).
"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!"
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!
12 September 2016
Review of monitoring methodologies for SDG 6 global indicators
Article can be found here: http://www.unwater.org/news-events/news-details/en/c/428698/
"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:
Monitoring methodologies under review:
09 September 2016
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.
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!
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!
03 August 2016
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:
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.
03 August 2016
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.
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!
22 July 2016
Drin Basin – Shared Resource – Shared Responsibility
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.
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.
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.
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.
06 July 2016
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: www.aquastrategy.com/article/albanian-action-water-utility-reform
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 (www.h2obenchmark.org) 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.
04 July 2016
New Website Resource on Infrastructure Regulations - http://regulationbodyofknowledge.org
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.
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.
19 May 2016
New Brochure on DANUBIS.org water platform
Find out more about DANUBIS.org and how it can help YOU to stay informed!
Are you interested in:
or do you wish:
Have a look into the brochure and see what DANUBIS.org can do for you!
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 Danubis.org 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.
27 April 2016
Get DANUBIS updates straight to your inbox...
DANUBIS.org has now launched an automated email update service, which will notify you every time a new event, resource or news is made available on DANUBIS.org. 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.
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.