Global Water Partnership - GWP

Slovenia referendum rejects dangerous changes to Water Act

Concerned stakeholders, including GWP Central and Eastern Europe, sprang into action in 2021 in response to proposed changes to Slovenia’s Water Act that could have allowed restaurants and hotels to be built along coastal areas.

The proposed amendment was seen as a major threat to the environment and resulted in a referendum being held. About 86.7 percent of people voted ‘no’ to the changes. The referendum benefited from the highest voter turnout since 2007, showing a remarkable public interest in environmental protection. The result means that the government is now prohibited from changing the Water Act.

GWP Slovenia played an important role as an independent network, able to bring together Slovenian stakeholders in selected fields and connect the local community with state institutions by cultivating a culture of cooperation.

“We are very proud that democracy and community engagement won against new harmful water law proposed by our government.”

Chair of GWP Central and Eastern Europe, Professor Tjaša Griessler Bulc

New online course supports Danube floodplain management

In 2021, GWP supported the launch of the Danube Floodplain Online Course. It was designed to teach participants about floodplain management and show examples of floodplain restoration measures.

The course also helped participants understand how to apply tools and knowledge developed by the Danube Floodplain project, which is being implemented by 18 partners, including GWP, across 10 countries sharing the Danube River Basin as part of the Interreg Europe and the Danube Transnational Programme.

Sustainable Sanitation Task Force releases nature-based solutions report

Under EU legislation, wastewater collection and treatment in small settlements is not clearly regulated. This can lead to water pollution and the spread of diseases. In 2021, GWP Central and Eastern Europe’s Sustainable Sanitation Task Force reviewed sanitation and nature-based solutions in small settlements.

This study showed there has been some improvement in the number of wastewater treatment plants in small settlements and in the diversity of technologies applied. However, the ratio of the population connected to wastewater treatment plants in small settlements is still small, and significant improvements need to be made in the following years to reduce water pollution.