Signatures Collected to Nudge Government towards Fixing Sarajevo’s Water Problem

Three organizations in Sarajevo started collecting signatures from citizens for a petition to the local authorities, in which they demand action towards fixing the city’s crumbling water supply network. Water shortages have become a daily thing in Sarajevo, as entire neighborhoods are being subjected to the so-called “water reduction” regime – effectively being left dry for hours to compensate for water shortages caused by pipe leaks in the water supply network.

It is estimated that 70% of water supplied to Sarajevo is lost to leaks in the supply network.

The Sarajevo Canton PM said that as much as 75% of water from Sarajevo wells is not paid for

Anes Podić of Eko Akcija organization that took part in collecting signatures told Klix that the city’s water supply company, owned by the government, has neglected the water supply network for years: “We will deliver the petition to the Sarajevo Canton assembly (…) which has the authority to solve the problem. They can declare the state of emergency, put to work people and equipment. (Sarajevo) is the most developed local community (in Bosnia) and if there was political will, the problem would have been solved long ago.”

The water supply company said that the Sarajevo wells can’t produce more water at the time: “Improvements can’t be expected without more precipitation. With such shortage of available water, a regular water supply isn’t possible and daily rationing (is planned) according to available resources. Although water is accumulated in reservoirs from 23h to 6h, (a regular supply) was impossible over the weekend because of increased water use (in Sarajevo).”

The Sarajevo Canton prime minister Elmedin Konaković said that as much as 75% of water from Sarajevo wells is not paid for – some is lost because of the leaks and some is used by unregistered consumers who aren’t billed: “I believe we are weeks away from being granted a €25 million EBRD loan for reconstruction of the (water supply) network.”

Konaković said that the reconstruction should end the “water reduction” regime late next year. However, he made the same promise last year.

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