Bulgaria is a land of water. It has an abundance of rain falling on open plains, flanked by forests and snowy peaks, while its main tourist attractions are its hot springs and the gorgeous shores of the Black Sea. And yet, water is often a problem for many Bulgarians, with ageing water infrastructure and leaking pipes leading to frequent stoppages.

In some areas, water deliveries by truck are a normal part of life, especially in summer. And of the water pumped into Bulgaria’s distribution system, more than half may be lost before it reaches the faucet. But the most critical problem is the treatment of wastewater, which is currently polluting the Danube, the Black Sea and the country’s groundwater.


Bulgaria is determined to improve supplies of this valuable natural resource for its 7 million inhabitants. The JASPERS programme helped the government plan improvements to the water supply and wastewater programme for the whole country. This project is well underway, and six new regional water projects were added in 2023.

From the modernisation of pipes to new wastewater treatment plants, these projects in Bulgaria will reduce sewage pollution and save lots of water by stopping leaks and making supply systems more efficient. The amount of untreated wastewater will be dramatically reduced by improving collection and treatment systems throughout the country. The nationwide project preparation, largely carried out with Bulgarian consultancy companies, will help bring in the skills needed to run successful projects in the future.

JASPERS has been helping Bulgaria since 2007, assisting with more than 90 water projects, including regional water supplies and wastewater treatment. A number of these assignments have additionally served to obtain EIB loans, including a €500 million deal for transport and environmental projects.