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EBRD, Austria and CEI help rebuild water supply network in Brčko District

By Bojana Vlajcic

  • EBRD loan to finance the extension and repair of the Brčko water supply network
  • Financing to help reduce water losses, improve quality and generate energy savings
  • Additional donor support from Austria and the Central European Initiative

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is financing infrastructural improvements to secure the supply and quality of water for residents of the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The EBRD is extending a €6.5 million loan to Brčko District for an investment to help regulate water pressure across its urban areas, to reduce water losses, generate energy savings and increase coverage of the water supply network. The district will also benefit from extensive grant funding from the government of Austria and the Central Europe Initiative.

The funds will help construct a new 14 km pipeline, a new pumping station and a clean water storage reservoir at Potocari. They will also cover the targeted reconstruction of 2-3km of existing supply pipeline to reduce water losses (by around 10 per cent) while improving system integrity. The work will significantly improve the reliability and resilience of the existing water supply system.

The network extension, meanwhile, will enable the district to reach and connect people in nearby settlements who currently do not have access to the municipal water supply system.

Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “We are pleased to support Brčko District in this investment, which will help improve its environmental performance and, at the same time, improve the quality of people’s lives. We look forward to working together on other environmental and sustainable investments under the EBRD Green Cities initiative.”

The Project is Brčko’s trigger investment under the EBRD Green Cities programme for urban sustainability, which is also supporting investments in Sarajevo, Zenica and Banja Luka. Brcko will be the 55th City to join this flagship programme. Other priority investments in Brčko will include areas such as solid waste management, wastewater, urban transport, district heating and the energy efficiency of public buildings. These will happen alongside the development of an action plan for Brčko, supported by donor funds from Austria and Italy.

The EBRD has worked extensively in Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the restructuring and expansion of the local private sector, forge closer ties with wider regional markets and promote the more efficient and sustainable use of resources. To date, the EBRD has invested €2.78 billion in 193 projects across the country.

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