Water and Sewage
Green Blue
Buildings & land use
Project Summary Project Description Application of Tools Opinion of Tools Decision making process Contact Details

Opinion of tools

Name of the case study
Construction of Municipal Waste Water Collector No 5, Samokov Municipality

Name of tool
Procedure for Criteria Relative Weight Evaluation (Tool used at National Level)

Opinion of tool - argumentation for choosing the tool
The tool was used because of the need for urgent action concerning the reduction of pollution in rivers and the limited financial resources demanded the use of a tool by which to define priorities in UWWTP construction.

The initiative for choosing the tool was undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Waters according to UN and EU requirements for sustainable water use.

The National Program requires the tool implementation. The National Program is adopted in accordance with EU directives (СОМ (97)49, ЕС 91/271/ЕЕС, ЕС 76/464/ЕЕС, ЕС 79/923/ЕЕС, ЕС 76/160/ЕЕС, etc).

Opinion of tool - barriers for the tool implementation
No barriers and problems were reported up to 2004.

Name of tool
Technical and Economic Report (TER) + Local Priority Criteria (LPC) (Municipal Level)

Opinion of tool - argumentation for choosing the tool
Voluntary - the opportunity given by the National Program required good support when applying for grants. The TER and the LPC proved to be relevant for the specific conditions in the town of Samokov.

The initiative for development of the tool was undertaken by the Municipality. The tool needed to provide an assessment for choosing one of the two needed collectors to discharge waste water to the newly-built UWWTP. The Municipality had to decide which of the two collectors was more urgently needed by the town and its sewage infrastructure. The tool applied was a combination of the Technical and Economic Report (TER) and formulated LPC (taking into account the current local conditions in the town).

Several studies on the sewage system in the town had been undertaken in the past twenty years. These provided the basis for the development of particular projects. These studies and projects included technical and economic evaluation tools which were strongly considered while accomplishing TER.

Opinion of tool - barriers for the tool implementation
One of the criteria included in the evaluation tool at the national level is “ownership”. The projects competing for funding need to clearly indicate the ownership on land, buildings and infrastructure. However, currently because of the transition period the ownership on the town sewage system is not clearly divided between the State and the municipalities.

Opinion of tool - assessment by tool users

National level

After using the Procedure for Criteria Relative Weight Evaluation, a list of priority UWWTPs for construction was set and the implementation of the National Program on Priority Construction of Urban Waste Water Treatment Plants started. As a result of the construction of the plants the pollution of the main streams in the National Program was considerably reduced.

An updated database for all the UWWTP was gathered including schemes of all river basins and the points of water quality monitoring, documentation (so called "Passports") of accomplished and unfinished UWWTPs etc.

The tool provides for identifying the municipalities (the cities or towns in particular) that are the main polluters of rivers and have no UWWTP. To this end it defines the priorities for the construction of UWWTPs downstream.

The tool can be implemented in different programmes and in other urban sectors, after modifying the criteria to meet specific infrastructure requirements.

The interviewed municipal experts in Samokov estimate the Criteria Relative Weight Evaluation as a successful one but they recommend including more social criteria when determining the priority for UWWTP in order to increase awareness about the social impacts of decision making related to waste water treatment and the resulting quality of water.

Municipal level

Due to the implementation of the tool the municipality succeeded to determine its own priority for the construction of the town sewage collectors and argued the need for additional financing.

The LPC provide an opportunity for Bulgarian municipalities to apply for additional grants supporting UWWTP and sewage system construction.

The LPC are very helpful because they are flexible and can be modified according to particular infrastructural sectors, local needs and dynamic changes in Municipalities.

The tool was useful for the municipality but it has to be improved with regard to public involvement in the decision-making process in order to contribute to the transparency of the priority procedure.

Opinion of tool - reviewer\'s assessment

National level

This includes too general expert evaluation of social aspects, no public discussion mechanisms included, no particular benchmarks of social benefits envisaged. It is important to outline that such National Programs could be useful only if made relevant to the cases in many Bulgarian settlements where the urban infrastructure system is owned by the state, yet the municipality takes the responsibility for its maintenance. The Programmes would provide an opportunity for the towns to argument needed co-financing.

Municipal level

TER is comprehensible only for the technical experts. The development of an approach which explains the outputs from the tool to the general public and makes the decision-making process more transparent, would contribute for a better communication between the Municipality and the citizens.

What tools were used to assess sustainability?

Procedure for Criteria Relative Weight Evaluation (Tool used at National Level)

Technical and Economic Report (TER) + Local Priority Criteria (LPC) (Municipal Level)

More information

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