Bosnia and Herzegovina/sector assessment annexes


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External resources: HRBA and Water Governance Fast Facts - UNDP | Applying a HRBA to Developing Cooperation and Programming (UNDP, 2006) | COHRE Manual on the Right to Water and Sanitation | Protocol on Water and Health - Full Document) | COHRE Monitoring Implementation of the Right to Water: A Framework for Developing Indicators | Sub-commission guidelines for the realisation of the right to drinking water and sanitation (2005) | UNFPA - A HRBA to Programming, Practical Implementation Manual and Training Materials (2010) | Operational Guidelines for Implementing a Rights-Based Approach in Water and Sanitation Programming (CoHRE,2008) | COHRE Monitoring Implementation of the Right to Water: A Framework for Developing Indicators | FAQs on a HRBA to Development Cooperation | The Human Rights-Based Approach to Development - The Right to Water | UN Independent Expert Report on the issue of human rights obligations related to water and sanitation 2009 | UN Independent Expert Report on MDGs and right to water and sanitation 2010
Websites: The Rights to Water and Sanitation Information Portal | UN Independent Expert on Right to Water and Sanitation Webpage


Annex 3. Strategic Documents in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Entity Strategies for Water Management

According to the entity Laws on Water, there is an obligation for each entity to produce their own Water Management Strategies, which is the first step towards creating River Basin Management Plans. The Strategies determine the water management policies in B&H, and have the following objectives:

  • Reducing pollution, prevention of degradation and achievement of good water status;
  • Improving sustainable water use;
  • Ensuring equitable access to water;
  • Fostering social and economic growth;
  • Ecosystem protection;
  • Reducing the risk from floods and other negative effects of water;
  • Ensuring public participation in decision making related to water,
  • Preventing and solving conflicts related to water protection and water use; and
  • Fulfilment of the responsibilities from international contracts which are binding for B&H.

The FB&H commenced the creation of its Water Management Strategy in December 2007, and the first draft of this document is available. Among other issues, the Strategy specifically estimates the water quantities abstracted and delivered to consumers; the population connected to public water supply; changing trends in water consumption; and the implementation and efficiency of measures for reducing losses and for measuring water quality and quantity. According to the first draft, objectives and proposed activities for the future development of water sector include:

  • Rationalization of water consumption;
  • Bigger investments for gradual reduction of water losses;
  • Awareness raising on the significance and the necessity of rational water use.

Following the final version of the strategy, the FB&H will produce its RBMP, scheduled for completion in 2012.

In 2006, as a step towards the Water Management Strategy (the production of which has not yet commenced), RS created its Framework Plan for the Development of Water Management in the RS. The basic objectives of this Framework Plan are to serve as a starting point towards the creation of the Water Management Strategy and Development Strategy of the RS, and to serve as a ground for defining spatial needs for the development of water infrastructure. The Framework Plan defines criteria, conditions and limitations for future development of water infrastructure and water sector management in general.

According to the plan, current water losses in water supply systems are approximately 50%. One of the strategic objectives for the future development, defined in the document is “improvement of water use efficiency and rational water use”. Further objectives in the plan include, inter alia:

  • Increasing the population covered by the public water supply system;
  • Improving the level of water services;
  • Radically decreasing water losses from 50% to 20%;
  • Reducing specific water demand to the level of 160 l/inhabitant/day; and
  • Ensuring water systems can finance their own investments and cover all operation and maintenance costs.

There are no indications of deadlines for achieving these objectives however, and it is unknown when production of the Water Management Strategy for RS will commence. The River Basin Management Plans are scheduled for completion in 2015.

National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP)

B&H created their National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) in 2003. The aim of this Plan was the identification of short and long-term priority actions and measures providing the basis for preparation of a long-term environmental protection strategy in accordance with the economic, political and social situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The plan reviews the state of the environment in eight key sectors and proposes measures to address the crucial environmental problems, and defines institutional and technical requirements for implementation, updating and supervision of the NEAP.

Water was identified as a key environmental issue in the NEAP. Based on an analysis of the current situation in all fields of environmental protection, it was concluded that water resources and wastewater should be the first priority of the NEAP. The priorities for water supply are two-fold:

  1. Implementing long-term water supply projects in the most endangered regions in B&H;
  2. Identifying and minimizing water losses in water supply systems where losses are up to 60%.

Priorites for wastewater treatment and construction of sewage systems are similarly two-fold:

  1. Designing projects for construction of new, and rehabilitation of existing, wastewater treatment plants;
  2. Construction and rehabilitation of sewerage systems in endangered regions of B&H.

One of the main recommendations in the NEAP for improving the water sector is the production of strategies, studies and models for water management, and the introduction of a water information system.

Mid-Term Development Strategy B&H (Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper)

The MTDS for B&H was produced in 2003, and applied to the period 2004-2007, to provide framework guidelines for the development of the country by sector. The Strategy was created at a time when B&H needed development in all economic sectors, and so the Action Plan of the Strategy has identified a large number of measures for implementation, but without completed list of priorities within the sectors. This Strategy was revised in 2006 in order to update the document and to adjust the priority measures to the present situation, considering that much has changed and improved in the country since the Strategy has originally created.

The objectives of the strategy in terms of water management are;

  • To improve the legal and institutional framework;
  • To adopt relevant legislation, and harmonize the Water Law with the WFD (already accomplished by adoption of the new Water Laws);
  • To set up adequate institutional organization of the water sector, in accordance with the EU WFD; and
  • To establish sustainable financing system.

The main recommendations for the water sector are;

  • For water management to be organized at the river basin level;
  • To improve existing infrastructure;
  • To improve existing flood protection system;
  • To provide sufficient water for water supply;
  • To improve water quality protection; and
  • To improve integrated and inter-sector planning of water resources exploitation.

Specifically, in terms of water management, one of the priority measures defined in the Mid-Term Development Strategy is to “physically repair and organizationally strengthen water supply systems”, which includes the following:

  • Ensuring adequate supply of safe water to towns and cities;
  • Reducing the losses in water supply systems by 10% (from their present 50%);
  • Reducing the number of inhabitants not connected to water supply systems by 1/3;
  • Improving revenue collection systems for water supply and sewage services, and passing regulations to legalize illegal connections and local water supply systems to ensure commercial sustainability of the system;
  • Protecting all existing and potential sources of potable water, specifically those in rural areas; and
  • Improving and monitoring the quality of water used by rural populations.

With regards agricultural water use, the Strategy suggests “improving irrigation systems”, and emphasises the need to “provide sufficient water quantities for irrigation of arable land, thus creating conditions for intensive agricultural production”, but it elaborates no further.

Annex 4. International Aid - Water Programmes and Projects in B&H

The EU has provided much assistance to water management in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the past. The main focus has been on institutional strengthening of the water sector at the national level. Projects have targeted legal, financial, institutional aspects of the water sector, as well as water quality and human capacity building. Significant water supply and sanitation projects have also been implemented by UNDP, EBRD, Swedish SIDA, and Swiss IBG (in north-western Bosnia). In addition, municipalities have started to use funds (credits) from “local development agencies”.

The “Assistance to Water Utilities in B&H” Progamme was one of a series of USAID-funded programs for water utility strengthening that began in 1999, when USAID Sarajevo commissioned a study to assess the needs for the reform of the water sector. The objective of that particular assessment was to examine the water problems at the local level in order to strengthen the capability of these water utilities to provide satisfactory water and wastewater services to their customers in a business-like manner, i.e., to become efficient and financially self-sustaining. The first phase of the programme included a detailed field diagnosis of conditions in ten selected water utilities that were deemed representative. Recommendations arose from that study to address the legislative, technical and financial weakness in the water and wastewater utilities of B&H. The second phase started in March 2002, under the project title “Assistance to Water Utilities in B&H - Pilot Water Utilities Doboj, Orašje, Konjic, and Tuzla˝. The overall objective of this project was to strengthen the institutional and financial sustainability and operational efficiency of selected water utilities, to make them self-sustainable public companies and to qualify them for commercial credits from the World Bank and/or other lenders.

In addition, USAID implemented a programme from March-July 2001 focusing on improving water utilities’ accounting, budgeting and reporting. They have also implemented a project entitled “Unaccounted for water reduction and water demand management training”, the objective of which was to provide skills and knowledge to participants to enable them to develop Water Demand Management and Unaccounted for Water (UFW) Reduction Programs for their own utilities. This was accomplished by providing technical know-how transfer to participants, as well as explaining the role of government and/or local authorities in demand and reduction management. The target for B&H’s water utilities was to reach a UFW level of 30%, which is believed to be reasonable and achievable in the near future.


See also

Bosnia and Herzegovina/sector assessment

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