Improving water supply systems in Georgia

Two cities benefit from EBRD investments and technical assistance

Following years of under-investment in maintenance and repair, the municipal infrastructures for water supply and sewerage systems of many Georgian cities did not manage to provide a reliable, quality service to their inhabitants.

Restoring 24-hour water service

The Georgian cities of Kutaisi - the country’s second largest - and Poti have recently benefited from investments which allowed them to conduct comprehensive rehabilitations of their water and sewerage services, restoring 24-hour service and improving water quality.

Thanks to the grant funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States and the EBRD loan, Kutaisi could renew its wellfields, transmission pumping stations and water supply network.

The municipal company installed water meters for all households and also improved its financial and operational performance. Similarly, Poti’s municipal water company received loans from the EBRD and the World Bank as well as grant funding from Sida, the European Union, MCC, the EBRD’s Early Transition Countries fund and Black Sea Fund, to finance an extension of the transmission pipeline as well as the introduction of a metering programme and upgrades of the distribution network.

Not only did the grant -and loan-funded investments lead to improved water service quality in the municipalities, they also served as important examples of cooperation between Georgian municipalities, international financial institutions and international donors to finance significant environmental improvement projects.

Environmental and Climate Programme

In order to further cooperation, not only in Georgia, but also in Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and the Western Balkans, and to support the improvement of municipal and environmental services, in 2009 the EBRD and Sida launched the Environment and Climate Programme, a co-financing facility targeting projects in the water supply, wastewater treatment, solid waste management and municipal district heating sectors. To date, Sida have approved approximately €15 million of grants under this Programme for capital investment co-financing and technical assistance to support EBRD projects.