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Speeches & Transcripts

Signing ceremony of the three contracts for development of Regional Master Plans for water supply and sewerage systems in Bulgaria.

December 8, 2011

Markus Repnik Bulgaria

As Prepared for Delivery

What brings us together today is the most important resource on our planet - water. 

What brings us together today is the strong commitment of the Bulgarian Government to best manage water resources in the country:  All citizens should have access to clean water and wastewater should be properly treated. This is the objective.

Where does Bulgaria stand today? 

  • First, only about half of Bulgaria’s population is supplied with water that meets EU quality standards
  • Second, about 10% of the population lives in areas with water supply restrictions, and 
  • Third, only 45% of wastewater is treated.

These numbers indicate that urgent action is needed. And the Government is decisively acting on this.

But how to best plan these actions – the answer is simple. Water master plans are needed. They are needed to identify priority water supply and wastewater investments, they are needed to ensure the efficient use of water resources.

The World Bank is partnering with the Government on this important agenda, including through the Municipal Infrastructure Development Project. This project finances water master plans for the whole country, with the exception of Sofia, the only city that already has a water master plan.

While the World Bank is supporting the Government in developing the master plans, the financing of water infrastructure investments will come mainly from EU funds. In this sense, the signing today symbolizes an important shift in our partnership, a partnership with a focus on the strategic use of EU funds – for the benefit of all citizens.