Bulgaria Seeks BGN 18 M for Ailing Water Sector
Bulgaria’s water sector needs BGN 15-18 B to solve its problems as it remains one of the least reformed systems in the country, the environment minister has said.
“The funds are needed for an upgrade in the water sewage system, the building and repair of the purifying stations, restoration of the system for drainage in the country, shoring up river beds,” Minister Nona Karadzhova said on Monday.
According to the minister there are several options for financing, including the state budget, price hikes and concessions.
“The best model will be picked though wide public debates,” the minister said.
A strategy for the development and funding of the water sector is due to be drawn up and a contest is currently underway to pick its creator.
More than twenty years after the fall of the communist regime, the water sector remains one of the most unreformed systems in Bulgaria.
Except for Sofia municipal water supply, which has been granted on concession to a foreign investor, all other units in the sector are either owned by the state or the municipalities.
The company in Sofia however has been harshly criticized for shortage of investments in the upgrade and maintenance of the system.
An average 60% of water pumped in the pipes never reaches Sofia consumers, while in some regions losses account for up to 90 %.
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