The World Bank (WB) board of directors approved a EUR 81 million loan for development of municipal infrastructure in Bulgaria late on Tuesday, the WB said in a press release. The amount will be used for preparation of 48 master plans for water supply and sewerage systems, for completion of the construction of three dams that was interrupted about 20 years ago, and for rehabilitation of a fourth dam that is currently operational.
Upon completion of the project more than 141,000 Bulgarians in the municipalities of Rudozem, Madan, Tryavna and Panagyurishte will have a secure and reliable supply of quality water. Water shortages in some parts of Bulgaria have become critical over the last 15 years due to increased incidence of dry years. As a result, the delivery of water has been unreliable and a conservation plan has been put in place with many days of water rationing and restrictions.
The master plans are expected also to lead to investments (funded by EU and other sources) that will help Bulgaria to fully implement the EU directives in the water and wastewater sector.
The project is the last operation within the framework of the Partnership Strategy for Bulgaria for 2006-09. The project is financed from a loan with a 19-year maturity, including a 7-year grace period.