Water services are facing increasing strains as populations grow, cities expand and climate change-related problems worsen. An effective water treatment and distribution network is important to ensure that cities are safe from water-borne diseases and flooding.

Sofiyska Voda, the company running Sofia’s water utility, manages everything from the underground pipes, the collection and distribution of water, to daily household use and billing.


For the last 21 years, the company has had a contract to manage the water supply and treatment for 1.4 million residents. It provides drinking water, general water supplies, and wastewater collection and treatment services. The contract will end in a few years and the city approached the European Investment Advisory Hub to request technical assistance to ensure continuity in water and sewerage services.

As Sofiyska Voda is the only public-private partnership running a water utility in Bulgaria, the lessons learned will also help inform other locations about the potential for public-private partnerships in water services across the country.