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REORGANIZATION OF WATER AND WASTE WATER MANAGEMENT is a well-researched topic, it can be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.


Romania’s drinking water and wastewater sector is currently going through a process of regionalization. This process involves a
replacement of a local-focused governance structure by a regional-focused governance structure. The objective of this paper is to
explore and explain this regionalization from a governance perspective. In two case studies, the situation before and after the regionalization are investigated. Analyses of the case studies show that the local-focused governance structure was highly incoherent. This resulted in a lack of financial resources needed to maintain and develop the water infrastructure. Romania’s accession to the European Union affected several governance elements and evoked the regionalization. Real improvements are not visible yet as the time needed for actual services improvements is considerable and governance elements are still adjusting to each other. This means that there is still a need for ongoing support to arrive at a coherent governance structure.


During the last decades, the organization of
Romania’s water and wastewater sector changed
considerably. Before 1990, water utilities in Romania
operated as public services at the county level, without
any central authority or ministry who coordinated
their activities. Infrastructure was owned by county
councils who had integrated public companies taking
care of most public services (e.g. water, waste and
energy). After 1990, the organization of water
services changed. Romania returned to the local
autonomy principle and major responsibilities were
transferred to the local communities. To support the
autonomy of local councils to manage public services,
the legal framework was also adjusted in several
ways. Examples of these adjustments are the law on
public ownership (no. 213/1998), on concessions (no.
219/1998) and on efficient and adequate providence
of public services by local public administrations (no.

In the same period, programs were initiated
to assist local authorities with the development of
their water services. An example is the Municipality
Utility Development Programme (1995-2001), which
supported various local operators through investment
funds, institutional strengthening, and reorganization.
However, only a small number of towns benefited
from these programs. In particular, the smaller and
medium-sized towns were not able to attract sufficient
financial funds to maintain and develop their water
and wastewater infrastructure. In 2004, the situation
was that only 52% of the Romanian population was
connected to the drinking water and sewage system
and 71% of the wastewater was not or insufficiently
treated (MoE, 2007). This service level does not
correspond with the standards of the European Union
(EU), which Romania accessed in 2007. Currently,
Romania is therefore in a transition period for the
implementation of EU directives on drinking water
(98/83/EC) and wastewater (91/271/EEC). It now has
to comply with the requirement of providing
wholesome and clean water for human consumption
by the end of 2015. The directive concerning the
collection and treatment of urban wastewater fully
applies by the end of 2018, with intermediate targets for 2013 and 2015. Eventually, all agglomerations with a population equivalent of 2000 persons should be provided with collecting systems for urban waste
water. To bring Romania’s environmental
infrastructure in line with EU policies and practices,
the Sectoral Operational Programme Environment
(SOP ENV) defines ‘modernization and extension of
water and wastewater systems’ as one of its six
highest priorities (MoE, 2007). Regionalization of
water services is one of the measures aiming to
support local authorities in reaching the EU


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Department: Agric Metereology and Water Management

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