Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic said yesterday that Serbia needs to invest €5.5 billion by 2013 in the construction of wastewater treatment facilities and utility systems for water protection in order to harmonise regulations in this field with European standards and meet the requirements for EU accession.
Dulic said this at the regional ministerial conference “Integrated river basin management – a platform for exchange of experience” held in Ohrid today, where participants discussed common problems and the efforts the region should make regarding water protection.
He said that Serbia lacks financial resources, plans and projects for construction of water purification and added that all countries in the region should create a project that would attract money from the EU and other donors in order to build a regional facility for purification of waste waters.
The Minister pointed out that the biggest polluters of water are agriculture and illegal dumps, and that the greatest amount of wastewater that is generated in Serbian households is purified in an unacceptable manner, while only 35% of households have a sewage system.
Dulic said that it is necessary for Serbia to participate in such gatherings and develop cooperation with neighbouring countries since 90% of waters that pass through our territory and are used for drinking and other purposes come from other countries.
The countries which attended the conference had the opportunity to learn about Serbia’s problems regarding waters, but also to see the solutions we suggest, Dulic explained and recalled that the goal of the meeting is preparation of a common development plan for the protection of waters.
The conference was attended by ministers and relevant institutions of Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, FYRMacedonia, Greece, Albania, Turkey and Hungary, as well as representatives of embassies, agencies and the scientific community.