The Hrvatske Vode water management company on Monday signed grant agreements for funding from European Union cohesion funds to be used to finance investments in public water management and sewerage systems as part of the Operational Programme "Environmental Protection" for the period 2007 - 2013.

The programme, which is also known as "Minor interventions 2", relates to projects for the construction, repair and reconstruction of public water management and sewerage systems, making water at water wells safe for human consumption and the supply of the necessary equipment. The maximum share of European Union grants is 85% or almost HRK 258 million for 29 selected projects.

Hrvatske Vode CEO Zoran Djurokovic underscored that the signed agreements referred to works valued at close to HRK 350 million, which, he said would enable the absorption of an additional HRK 290 million before the end of the year.

He underscored that it was particularly important to keep up the dynamics of absorbing European funds, that Hrvatske Vode had HRK 1.5 billion at its disposal and that he believed it would manage to absorb most of those funds.

"We have set ourselves a fairly ambitious goal - to withdraw HRK 1 billion of European funds, which has not been achieved in the past five years. We have further prepared projects valued at more than 500 million euro, 360 million euro of which relates to EU funds," Djurokovic said.

Agriculture Minister Davor Romic underscored the importance of these 29 water management projects for improving water supply and wastewater treatment standards.

"Last year HRK 253 million was withdrawn, in July this year alone we managed to absorb HRK 163 million and in the first seven months of the year we absorbed HRK 360 million. We've managed to increase the absorption of EU funds so as to increase the accessibility of water supplies and protect the environment," said Romic.

The agreements signed today are part of the strategic objectives that we will achieve, he added.

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