Advertisement Advertisement
Advertisement Advertisement

Serbia completes modernisation of water and wastewater network in Subotica

Serbia’s northern city of Subotica has completed a modern water and wastewater network and facilities thanks to a decade-long engineering endeavour supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU), and bilateral donors under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). The new infrastructure makes Subotica one of the first cities in Serbia with modern water and wastewater infrastructure in line with EU standards.

Serbia’s northern city of Subotica has replaced outdated water and wastewater infrastructure with a modern system with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU), and bilateral donors under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (photo courtesy JKP Vodovod i kanalizacija Subotica).

The new network improves the quality of potable water and its supply, wastewater disposal, and treatment services in Subotica. It also allows the city with a population of 140 000 to connect around 12 000 more citizens to the sewerage network, bringing coverage up to 60 percent of the population.

The improved wastewater treatment system also prevents the pollution of Lake Palić, one of the top five tourist destinations in Serbia and located on the outskirts of Subotica.

In addition, the new system has the technological capacity to produce energy from waste and currently produces 25 to 40 percent of its total energy needs.

Upgrading to EU standards

The new infrastructure makes Subotica one of the first cities in Serbia with modern water and wastewater infrastructure in line with EU standards. It is estimated that only around 10 percent of wastewater in Serbia is treated and only around 46 percent of the population is connected to the sewerage system.

In many cases, the existing infrastructure is also outdated and in need of investment.

The EBRD, the EU, and bilateral donors have supported Subotica since 2010 when the city started modernising its wastewater treatment plant and constructing a sludge line. The city then continued to upgrade its network by extending its sewerage network and constructing collectors and additional water pipelines, among other things.

This is another milestone for Serbia to become greener and to protect its citizens and foster a brighter future. Subotica is, of course, only one area in Serbia where we have invested in water purification. In the Raška area, for instance, we have also invested more than EUR 6 million in a wastewater treatment plant. European integration for Serbia is not an abstract thing; it is something people can see and feel in their own homes through cleaner and safer water for them and their children. Protecting the environment means protecting people. That is what the EU is about: a better life for the people commented Martin Klaucke, Operations Section at the EU Delegation to Serbia.

The EBRD provided close to EUR 20 million in loans, while the EU and bilateral donors provided EUR 7 million worth of investment grants and technical assistance. The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than EUR 6.3 billion across 277 projects in the country to date.

The EBRD is focusing on support for private-sector development, the improvement of public utility services, and the overall transition towards a green economy.

We hope to see more cities in Serbia follow the example of Subotica and invest in their wastewater and water infrastructure. The EBRD, the European Union as well as bilateral donor countries are focused on supporting the transition to a green economy and there has never been stronger momentum to invest in green infrastructure. It is an opportunity not to be missed in order to upgrade networks of cities and municipalities to the benefit of citizens and the environment, said Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Director, Western Balkans and Head of Serbia.

We're using cookies. Read more