World Bank. Sofia, December 8, 2011. Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Lilyana Pavlova attended the signing of the three contracts for development of Regional Master Plans for water supply and sewerage systems in Bulgaria. The event is part of the World Bank supported Municipal Infrastructure Development Project, that aims at achieving compliance with EU water standards through improving the reliability and quality of water provision in Bulgaria.
“The Regional Master Plans will give us information about the real situation in the water sector and needed investments”, Minister Pavlova said at the signing. She emphasized the strong interest for this task coming from 288 companies united into 87 consortiums that have competed for plans development. “I believe the best companies were selected for this task following the World Bank’s transparent and rigorous selection procedures”, Minister Pavlova said.
Markus Repnik, the World Bank Country Manager of Bulgaria, mentioned that only about half of Bulgaria’s population is supplied with water that meets EU quality standards, about 10% of the population lives in areas with water supply restrictions, and only 45% of generated wastewater is treated. “These numbers indicate: urgent action is needed. And the Government is decisively acting on this, including through the Municipal Infrastructure Development Project”, Repnik said at the signing.
Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Dobromir Simidchiev, who signed the contracts with the selected 3 consortiums, added that the documents should be ready in 18 months and will provide the framework for for investments in the water and wastewater sector ahead of EU next programming period.