Minister: we will continue to be the best waste water-managing nation in Europe2013-10-28
With the approach of the 2014-2020 financing period, preparations to finance priority environmental protection projects on a national level have accelerated. Water management is one of the Ministry of Environment's priority financing agendas.
Water management financing conditions have already been discussed with municipalities and drinking water suppliers. During the new financing period, drinking water and waste water management infrastructure development and renovation will be financed. Waste water treatment and drinking water installation construction and renovation will also be financed.
“ During the coming financial period, development will be financed in problematic regions. This will help solve drinking water and waste water management problems for smaller towns. We were recognized as the best waster water-managing nation in the EU. We need to maintain this title,” - said Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis.
Two groups of residential areas will be defined for the 2014-2020 financial period in order to ensure that as many of them as possible can receive EU support for water supply and waste water management infrastructure construction and reconstruction.
Residential areas containing less than 2000 residents had almost no opportunities to get any EU water management project financing support during the current financing season. According to the Ministry of Environment's evaluation, these areas' waste water management systems do not meet minimum requirements, fail to provide quality services, and pollute the environment. Therefore, service development in residential areas with less than 2000 residents will be a priority during the next financial period. 80 percent of these projects' funding will come from EU support.
Residential areas in Lithuania with more than 2000 residents made great advances during the 2007-2013 financial period, establishing waste water management systems that meet EU requirements. According to the European Commission, Lithuania ranks alongside Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic as one of the best waste water-managing European Union nations. The waster water collection system in Lithuania complies 100 percent with the EU's requirements, while secondary waster water cleaning has 98 percent compliance and tertiary waste water cleaning (the strictest) has 85 percent compliance. These are some of the best results in the European Union according to the EC's evaluation. Therefore, in the interest of maintaining this level of quality, residential areas with more than 2000 residents will also be receiving EU support.
Funding for pipe system renovations will also be sought in order to increase the effectiveness of water management systems in Lithuania. This will reduce losses due to infrastructure and water supply expenses – all while ensuring the effective use of our natural resources.
Preliminary plans indicate that 1.4 bil. Lt will be spent on water management during the coming financial period. Of those, roughly 1 bil. will be spent on development and renovation. In order to ensure that the EU support will be planned effectively, government-guaranteed funds will be lent to drinking water suppliers with the end consumer's service price in mind.
Public Information Division