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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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HydroBasin Level:
Baseline Water Stress:
Water Quality Stress:
Sanitation Access Stress:
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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.

Country Water Profile

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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

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