Water and wastewater services
in the Danube Region

A State of
the sector

What is the State of the Sector review?

The State of the Sector is an analysis of the region’s progress and challenges in providing sustainable water and wastewater services for all. The report is a flagship World Bank product under the Danube Water Program and aims at documenting and informing water services policies and their outcomes in 16 countries of the Danube region. The review was prepared by World Bank staff and a team of more than 25 contributors, with support many institutions and individual experts throughout the watershed.

The report analysis the sustainability of water services under four angles of view: access infrastructure to be in place, service providers to operate and maintain it, sector governance that helps those thrive, and the proper financing mechanisms to maintain and expand services in the long term. The report covers the situation of water services in: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

What does it say?

  • As part of EU accession process, broader sector development challenges must also be addressed especially among the candidate and future members. 
  • Recent and on-going policy reforms increase national regulatory and institutional oversight, creating the need for clearer accountability mechanisms between local and national governments. 
  • There are 22.5 million people without piped water and 28 million without flush toilets in the Danube region; rural populations, the poor, and minorities are disproportionally represented.
  • The performance of many service providers in the region still trails regional and international best practices, threatening the long-term sustainability of ongoing investment programs.
  • The sector’s overall financing framework does not guarantee universal, high-quality services in the long term.
  • More and better publicly available data are necessary for sound policy making, utility performance improvement, and management accountability.

How can I get more information?

  • A regional report provides a regional overview of the situation and general trends. 
  • For each of the 16 countries, a specific note provides more specific details about the situation in the country. 
  • Further resources on each country are available in the related country resources page of the DANUBIS.org water platform
  • Utility-level performance data is available for many utilities in the watershed, in the DANUBIS.org water platform database page
  • The authors welcome comments, questions and opportunities to disseminate the work further, and can be contacted through Patricia Lopez (plopez@worldbank.org).