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The Sava has the largest discharge of water to the Danube of any tributary and is the second largest by catchment area.
The Sava is shared by Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro and the joint management arrangements will be a pilot example for the implementation of the European Union's Water Framework Directive for the Danube and Europe.

The Sava rises in the mountains of western Slovenia, and passes through the lowlands of Croatia before forming the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Continuing through Serbia, it reaches its confluence with the Danube in Belgrade (with an average flow of 1,564 m³/sec). Its main sub-tributaries are the Krka, Kupa, Una, Vrbas, Bosna, Drina and Kolubara. The Sava basin has a size of 95,419 km², which makes it the second largest after the Tisza basin.

Did you know?

The large retention areas of the Sava are one of the most effective flood control systems in Europe. Their management is seen as an international model for sustainable flood managment.

International Sava Agreement

The joint management of the Sava River Basin by Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro will be a crucial test case for the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive for the Danube and Europe.

The Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin and the Protocol on the Navigation Regime, both signed in 2002, promote regional co-operation throughout the Sava River Basin on issues related to navigation, economic development, comprehensive water management and environmental protection.

The Sava Commission has been established in June 2005 and has open its Secretariat in Zagreb (Croatia).

The aims of the Sava Commission are to fully implement the Agreement and is working to facilitate opportunities for economic development and to attract foreign investors and contribute to enhancement of relations and co-operation between the Parties to the agreement.

For further information, please contact the Sava Commission Secretariat.


The information contained in the ICPDR website is intended to enhance public access to information about the ICPDR and the Danube River. The information is correct to the best of the knowledge of the ICPDR Secretariat. If errors are brought to our attention we will try to correct them.
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Only those documents clearly marked ICPDR documents reflect the position of the ICPDR.
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Last Edit: 2009-07-21