Water Management

The REC’s work on water-related issues contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the World Summit for Sustainable Development targets for drinking water and sanitation. Its integrated approach to water resources management embraces a broad range of stakeholder concerns and promotes both social and economic development and the protection of the environment, based on the principle that no strategy for the reduction of poverty can ignore people’s vital need for water.

  • Team
  • Activities
  • Selected projects

Immediate activities:

  • Promoting improved water governance, capacity building and awareness.
  • Strengthening coordination through promoting river basin approaches.
  • Assisting countries in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of water management through multi-stakeholder dialogue and coordination.
  • Fostering the design and improvement of mechanisms to mitigate the effects of climatic changes (water scarcity, drought and floods).
  • Reinforcing the integration of water resources management into other relevant sectors such as energy, transportation, agriculture, fisheries, regional policy and tourism.

The Water Management Topic Area implements a variety of activities, having in mind the specific conditions and needs of each beneficiary. It focuses on efficient systems and training, and on the effective use and management of water resources. The key problems and challenges in SEE countries are primarily addressed through three pillars:

  • Water governance, capacity building and awareness
  • Transboundary water issues
  • Technical services

Within the Water governance, capacity building and awareness pillar, activities include:

  • Integration of national policy and regulations into EU water policy.
  • Legal and regulatory framework strengthening and implementation.
  • Addressing institutional matters and capacity-building support.
  • Improving access to information and public participation.
  • Leadership, management and coordination of water programmes.

Within the Transboundary Water Issues, pillar activities are concentrated on:

  • Introducing the river basin approach.
  • Identifying issues significant for the management of waters in rivers that flow through one or more SEE countries and neighbouring states.
  • Coordinating activities between relevant regional and state agencies, local authorities and other institutions.
  • Helping to analyse and report on the compliance of SEE countries and neighbouring states with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and other water-related directives.
  • Strengthening water resources monitoring and assessments.
  • Introducing measures to facilitate adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
  • Facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue and coordination.
  • Reinforcing the incorporation of integrated water resources management into other relevant sectoral policies.

Within the Technical Services pillar, a wide variety of analytical and methodological tasks are performed:

  • Help in processing and analysing highly technical data.
  • Preparing manuals, guidelines and protocols in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and other water-related directives.
  • Developing action plans to introduce remediation and mitigation measures.
  • Reviewing procedural documents to confirm their synchronisation with rules and regulations required by the new EU water policy.
  • Providing technical assistance to authorities, local communities and the public in administrative hearings and intensive water use/pollution control area hearings.


The Water Management Topic Area team comprises internationally experienced senior experts and specialists from a range of water resources management fields. It includes practitioners working in earth or environmental sciences, physical geography, geology or civil and environmental engineering.

To ensure that we are providing appropriate support to beneficiaries across the CEE region, the team of water management professionals is continuing to grow. On average, members have more than 10 years’ experience in projects in CEE. Each team member possesses specialised knowledge and can draw on a global network of well-known management and technical contacts. We also look to educate our professionals in the policy, methods and technology needed to implement projects in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible.

The team is headed by Jovanka Ignjatovic, who is responsible for the direction and vision of the REC’s Water Management Topic Area. She has over 25 years of network and water management experience. Before joining the REC, she was head of the section for international cooperation of the Directorate for Water within the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia.

Our main internationally experienced senior experts and specialists in water resources management are:

  • Jovanka Ignjatovic (jignjatovic at rec.org) 
  • Zuzana Boukalova (zboukalova at cz.rec.org) 
  • Djordje Vojinovic ( djolev at blic.net) 
  • Zoran Mateljak (zoran.mateljak at tel.net.ba) 
  • Hande Gulten Ozut (hande.ozut at rec.org.tr) 
  • Ana Petrovska (ana at rec.org.mk) 

We are eager to build capacity in relevant areas and are always interested to hear from qualified candidates.

For more information, please contact Jovanka Ignjatovic (jignjatovic at rec.org).

  • Support to Water Quality Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Promoting the Replication of Good Practices in Nutrient Reduction in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Raising Public Awareness on Cross-border Cooperation: Eco-bridge between Montenegro and Albania

More projects
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Topic area publications

Living Water Exchange
October 2009 | Online

Healing the Waters
March 2009 | Print

More publications