07 Aug 2014

Helping Bulgaria improve its water quality

DHI helped the Government of Bulgaria’s Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works prepare Regional Master Plans for their water and wastewater systems.

In cooperation with the World Bank, the Government of Bulgaria implemented a large Regional Municipal Infrastructure Development Project in 2011-2013. The goal of the project was to improve the water supply in compliance with the National Environmental Strategy of Bulgaria. 

DHI Czech Republic teamed up with foreign and local partners (NIRAS, RAMBOLL, DHI Bulgaria, Sofia Consulting Group, Aquapartner) to establish the consortium NRNSAD to carry out the project. 

For this project, NRNSAD did the following: 

  • Data collection and review, including provision of socioeconomic and technical indicators  
  • Assessment of the existing situation and needs of the water supply and sewerage systems 
  • Assessment of the socioeconomic forecast (including macroeconomic, demographic and household forecasts) 
  • Assessment of water demand projections (including water losses, abstractions and per capita consumption) 
  • Proposal of priorities for the development of water and sewerage systems to achieve compliance with EU Directives 
  • Proposal of scenarios for long-term sustainable development of water supply and sewerage systems 
  • Development of macro affordability assessment and unit cost assessment 
  • Development of short-, medium- and long-term investment programmes 

We were responsible for the development of 19 regional water supply Master Plans. We also helped provide the short-, medium- and long-term investment programmes for water supply systems. At the end of the project, the 19 regional water supply models were finalised covering the 19 designated territories. 

The data incorporated into the simulation models can also be used as the core of the planned digital water cadastre, which is now being prepared by the Ministry of Regional Development. Any new water supply system projects in the western region of Bulgaria can profit from this data by lowering project costs, while also preserving and extending the data pool. 

In addition, the project resulted in the provision of fully integrated digital sets of maps in the ESRI ArcGIS environment. Coupled with model and investment databases, the maps can be easily updated with any changes to the model.