Restoration of the Strumica River Basin

As a continuation of the support to the Macedonian water and nature sector, Switzerland developed a group of projects that will assist the country to have cleaner water and a healthier environment, as well as to move forward in meeting its obligations towards the EU. Through this project, Citizens and farmers in the Strumica river basin will benefit from improved economic wellbeing as a result of a better ecological status of the river basin and reduced flooding hazards.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Water resources conservation
Water sector policy
Biosphere protection
Environmental policy
01.07.2014 - 31.12.2022
CHF  4’400’000

During the process of accession towards the EU, Macedonia has harmonized the national legislation on water management with the EU directives. Nevertheless, the Implementation of the legislation is lagging behind, mainly due to insufficient financial, human, administrative and technical capacities at central and local level. One ofthe biggest challenges is the application of management principles, like the integrated water resources management and the river basin governance. The Strumica River Basm is one of the four main basins in the country and is characterized by significant degradation of the ecological status of water bodies and the hydrological regimes, which leads to frequentoccurrence of harmfui hydrological events such as floods and droughts.


The economic wellbeing of the population and the environmental status of the Strumica River Basin have improved through integrated water resources management.

Target groups
  • Five Municipalities in the river basin
  • Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning
  • Population in the Strumica River Basin
Medium-term outcomes
  • Citizens and farmers reduce pressures on water bodies and enhance resilience of the Strumica River Basin to the flooding hazards.
  • Municipalities and the central level authorities efficiently apply integrated water resource management in the Strumica River Basin.
  • The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning is able to efficiently protect and sustainably use the groundwater in Macedonia.

Expected results:  

  • Reduced point source of pollution;
  • Reduced diffuse source of pollution;
  • Overall resilience of communities to the flooding hazard is enhanced;
  • Decentralized and adaptive basin-scale management of water resources is introduced.

Results from previous phases:  

  1. Strumica River Basin Management Plan
  2. Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment. The preparatory phase enabled the most comprehensive data collection and synthesis for this basin so far.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Central State of South East
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • United Nations Development Programme

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’400’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’802’455
Project phases Phase 1 01.07.2014 - 31.12.2022   (Current phase)