Over 60 representatives of water supply companies from the cross-border region between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro gathered in Herceg Novi from September 7th to 10th, to attend the Academy on Improving Energy and Water Efficiency in the Water Supply Sector.

The training was organized with the aim of strengthening the capacity of water supply companies for more resource efficient operations and provision of the highest quality water supply services. Steps in developing strategies to improve resource efficiency in water companies were explained through presentations by experienced lecturers. Participants had the opportunity to gain theoretical and practical knowledge needed to reduce water and energy losses. In addition, a fruitful discussion provided an exchange of experiences, good practices and networking between water supply companies and expert community.

The development of water and energy efficiency improvement strategies in water supply companies creates a clear path that will lead to effective planning and timely monitoring of the implementation of improvement measures. The main precondition to achieve this is a strong organizational commitment to continuous improvement of resource efficiency.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro have significant potential to use renewable energy sources that can provide long-term fiscal stability and security of supply water in companies. The water supply company Čajniče is currently preparing a project dedicated to the construction of a pipe turbine, and therefore we especially appreciated the segment of the Academy dedicated to green energy.” – pointed out Lazar Stavnjak from public water supply utility Vrelo Čajniče.

Experts from CENER 21 used this training also to promote benchmarking, a tool that not only enables the correct prioritization of problems, but also helps to establish better cooperation between sectors within the company. The Academy helped water supply companies to set straight their development paths towards the resource efficiency.

“Events like this Academy are very useful since they gather a large number of representatives of water supply companies and enable them to exchange experiences. We all face everyday problems, but in this way, we gain the feeling that we are not alone as well as the motivation to persevere in the fight to overcome those problems. In addition, we heard a lot of important and useful information, both through lectures and through exercises. I believe that the participants have gained valuable knowledge that can be applied in practice, which, for ViK Herceg Novi, will be another step towards improving operations and reducing water and energy losses.” – highlighted Ms Olivera Doklestić, the director of ViK Herceg Novi.

The training was realized as a part of the project Action to increase energy and water efficiency of water supply services, implemented within IPA cross-border cooperation programme between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. European Union financially supported the implementation of this project in order to achieve long-term resource efficiency in the water supply sector, aiming to strengthen sustainable development in over 70 municipalities and cities in the cross-border area of ​​BiH and Montenegro.

The project is implemented with joint forces of Center for Energy, Environment and Resources – CENER 21 from BiH and Center for Energy Efficiency from Montenegro. The total budget of the project is over 305,000 euros, of which the European Union provided 259,604 euros in grants.

Through the media campaign Every drop and kilowatt matters (bcs. Svaka kap i kilovat su važni), the project team is raising public awareness on sustainable water use, the amount of water waste and the relation of energy efficiency to water efficiency.

More information about the project is available at the official project’s website. For regular updates, please follow project’s Facebook page and Twitter account.