Croatian cabinet ministers and local officials signed six co-financing contracts for water management projects in the Slavonia region, the Croatian government said in a statement issued after its session in the town of Osijek. The contracts worth a total of HRK 1.7 billion (EUR 225 million) are for the financing of projects through the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operative Program (CCOP) 2014-2020 including a project to reconstruct the right bank of the Drava river through Osijek worth HRK 44 million (EUR 5.8 million).
Of the total amount, HRK 947.8 million (EUR 125 million) has been secured from European structural funds. The statement said that these projects will be financed as part of the CCOP 2014-2020 and added that Croatia has a total of EUR 1.05 billion in grants at its disposal for water management projects.
The six contracts were signed for projects to build seven waste water treatment plants, a drinking water facility in Belišće, the reconstruction of 360 kilometers of sewage and 60 kilometers of water supply networks along with more than 150 pumping stations. The implementation of the projects will secure better water supply for more than 50,000 people, the statement said.
Another 17 water management projects are being implemented under the CCOP worth HRK 4.7 billion (EUR 620 million) of which 34 percent or some HRK 2.7 billion (EUR 357 million) will be in co-financing using European Union funds. Another 10 projects worth HRK 6.2 billion (EUR 820 million) should be approved by the end of 2017 with HRK 3.6 billion (EUR 476 million) secured from EU funds, the Croatian government said adding that another 70 projects are being drawn up which means that all the funds allocated for Croatia by the EU will be used.
The implementation of these water management infrastructure projects will secure a modern water supply system with better quality drinking water for the population as well as improved sewage and waste water treatment systems in line with EU standards. The projects should also protect sources of drinking water, water resources and linked ecosystems.
The Croatian government said that these investments will indirectly contribute to development and higher living standards for the population by attracting new investments and the opening of new jobs.
The project to reconstruct the right bank of the Drava river in Osijek includes the construction of the longest riverside walkway in Croatia and the linking of two parts of the town.
The contracts were signed by Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy Tomislav Ćorić, water management company Hrvatske vode CEO Zoran Đuroković i the heads of local water supply companies in that part of Croatia.