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Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Area: 5888268 km2
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City & Country

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $108,410,731.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $20,363,314.00 - [19%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $36,497,755.00 - [34%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $2,531,450.00 - [2%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $30,949,757.00 - [29%]
  • Water Scarcity: --
  • Water Management: $18,068,455.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.WATER RESOURCES 1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Waters in Bosnia and Herzegovina hydrographically belong to the Black Sea Basin (39,000km2, or 75.7 per cent of the country’s total surface area) and to the Adriatic Sea Basin (12,000km2, or 24.3 per cent), although the precise lines of separation between these two basins have not yet been determined in certain areas because of the hydrologically complex nature of the karst. The Sava river is a recipient of water streams from the northern part of BIH, which belong to the Black Sea basin, while the Neretva river is the only direct tributary of the Adriatic basin. The river basins of the Black and Adriatic seas supply Bosnia and Herzegovina with most of its fresh water. The country receives some 1,000mm of precipitation annually. There are about 30 water reservoirs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, primarily on the Neretva and Trebisnjica basin and the Drin. Most are designed for hydropower and all are important for flood control, drinking water and irrigation. Ninety per cent of drinking water comes from groundwater resources.

1.1.2.WATER USE The biggest cities in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H) account for 61 per cent of total water consumption. Sarajevo consumes 36 per cent, Mostar 10 per cent, Tuzla 9 per cent, and Zenica 6 per cent. Water consumption by industry is very significant. Part of the industrial water demand is met by drinking water from the water utilities, but the biggest industrial consumers typically also have their own water supply sources. Today, industrial technologies are working towards reducing consumption of all resources used during production, and introducing water recycling wherever possible, as they are obliged to pay fees for water abstraction and wastewater discharge. The total water used by industry from its own water sources amounts to 5,914,770 x 103 m3, a mere 17 per cent of pre-war consumption. Agricultural land covers 11,367km2 (43.5 per cent), of which 7,184km2 is arable. It is estimated that the total area in need of irrigation represents 808km2 (11.2 per cent) of total arable land, but present estimates suggest that only 16km2 (0.2 per cent) of arable land is irrigated in reality. In the Republika Srpska (RS), the five biggest cities account for 50 per cent of total water consumption; Banja Luka (25 per cent), Bijeljina (10 per cent), Prijedor (7 per cent), Doboj (4 per cent) and Zvornik (4 per cent). As in FB&H, a small amount of the industrial water demand (18 million m3) is covered by drinking water from water utilities, while most is derived from insdustry’s own sources (150 million m3/year). Small quantities of water are used for irrigation. In Bosnia and Herzegovina there is a large system of hydro-energy utilization named HET (Hydro power plants on the Trebišnjica river). There are four hydro power plants, three in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one in Croatia, which have a capacity of 820MW, and there are plans for new hydropower plants with the aim of gaining an additional 200MW.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Major environmental problems include air pollution from metallurgical plants, the scarcity of sites for disposing of urban waste, deforestation, and water shortages and destruction of infrastructure resulting from the 1992-95 civil strife. Today, none of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s large settlements has a treatment facility for wastewater, which means that all settlements of this size are also significant sources of pollution. All watercourses should reach ‘good’ ecological status by 2015, with the exception of the four water bodies on the Bosna River. All bodies under pressure were classified as ‘exposed to risk in the first approximation’. Of 22 groundwater bodies, six are considered to be ‘at risk’ due to human intervention, four are ‘at risk’ in terms of both quantity (due to over extraction) and quality, and the rest are threatened with quality risk only. Four groundwater bodies have insufficient data to estimate status.

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Organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina

None found.

Projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina

CONNECTING is a project that will establish the EU as a global leader for climate resilience, collaborative processes, and innovation for Nature Based Solutions by drawing on the experiences from three selected front-running cities in this project: Genk (Belgium), Glasgow … Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

With special attention to resources for utilities, this page lists relevant guidance around water and COVID-19. Learn More

Developers: American Water Works Association

This page seeks to help water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of the COVID-19 virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health, in general. Learn More

In this Nature feature, Johan Rockstrom and co-authors argue that identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change. Learn More

Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

This report presents analysis of the response data from a sample of 783 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies. The report is aimed at companies and investors seeking to understand how they can play their part in delivering a … Learn More

The Toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests. It features more than 250+ resources from dozens of organizations and is updated every week. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

Includes Immediate steps, ongoing health measures that can be taken, and responsible business practice Learn More

Based on the major combat guidelines set by the São Paulo State Government, Sabesp is fully engaged to endure COVID-19 pandemic within its operation area, which means 374 municipalities located throughout São Paulo state and home to about 28 million … Learn More

Developers: Sabesp

Checklist for restoring water quality in buildings left unused for a long duration. Learn More

Developers: EPA Office of Wastewater Management

Best practices- Resources- Webinars on WASH/COVID-19 topics. Learn More

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

The Committee designed this document to guide the food industry and advise its sponsoring agencies in the implementation of HACCP systems. Learn More

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their core operations. This guide is meant as a stepping point to begin reopening with safety as a … Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

SAVEh is the platform through which Ambev shares its water management system free of charge with other companies, which has helped to reduce more than 40% of the company’s water consumption in the last 13 years. This water efficiency tool … Learn More

Developers: Ambev S/A

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

In response to the challenge of quantifying the business benefits, WaterAid, Diageo, GAP Inc., and Unilever have worked with PwC and ODI to develop a practical, step-by-step guide. The guide will help companies understand the business value of their WASH … Learn More

Developers: WaterAid

The Forest Stewardship Council created the Principles of Forest Stewardship as a worldwide standard to promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Learn More

The AWS Standard is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. Learn More

Developers: Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS)

This report explores the possibilities of scaling a circular economy, given the reality of the global economy and the complexity of multi-tier supply chains. Learn More

Developers: World Economic Forum

ILO Sectoral Policies and Governance and Tripartism Departments present four self-training modules, which adapt existing ILO training tools on OSH to provide governments, workers and employers with the necessary skills to implement the general principles contained in relevant ILO instruments. … Learn More

Companies are increasingly setting and pursing ‘water balance targets’ as part of their water stewardship strategies. The seeming simplicity of balance goals can be attractive – “we will restore a volume of water equal to the amount our business consumes.” … Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CTCN; UNEP Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Water Witness International; WaterAid; WBCSD Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

IPIECA Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Pegasys; Water Witness International; WWF Learn More

The World Bank Learn More

UNEP-DHI Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

OECD Learn More

UNICEF; WHO Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; WWF Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

Alliance for Water Stewardship Learn More

WaterAid Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

McKinsey Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

UNEP Learn More

UN Water Learn More

AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

Leonardo Rodriguez
Primary Contact  


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