The MOEW and the basin directorates published the draft River Basin Management Plans until 2027 for public consultation

31 Mar, 2024 | 10:37

The MOEW and the water basin directorates published for public consultation the draft updated River Basin Management Plans until 2027. The documents are available on the websites of the respective basin directorate and the Ministry. In accordance with the Water Act, the public consultation will run for six months until 30 September this year.

The River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) is a strategic document aimed at achieving and maintaining good water status while ensuring sustainable socio-economic development. The measures planned in the RBMP set the basic framework for water use and protection in the plan period.

The published RBMPs provide updated information on the characteristics of the basin management districts; the impacts of human activities and forces forming significant pressures on water; the water protection zones; an assessment of the current status of surface and groundwater; and the identified water management objectives for the current planning period. On the basis of the analysis carried out, measures are planned to achieve the objectives for good status of surface and groundwater, related ecosystems and protection areas.

The participation of representatives of all economic sectors and the public in the consultation of the plans is key to making the right and balanced decisions aimed at achieving the objectives of good water status while ensuring sustainable socio-economic development.

During the consultation period, the MOEW and the basin directorates will organise meetings at national and basin level to discuss the information presented in the plans, the objectives set and the measures envisaged to achieve them.

The updated RBMPs have been developed by the experts of the basin directorates on the basis of information from their direct activities, results from the national monitoring, and additional information collected. The results from the implementation of the project "RBMP 2022-2027" with the Directorate "Water Management" as beneficiary and the basin directorates as partners were also used in the development of the documents. The project was funded by the Cohesion Fund of the European Union under the Operational Programme "Environment 2014-2020" and was implemented with consultancy support from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) within the framework of the "Agreement for the provision of support services in support of the development of RBMPs and RMPs for Bulgaria" of 26.06.2018, ratified by law and extended for one year until 05.12.2023.

Delays in the implementation of the agreement have led to delays in the preparation, adoption and reporting of the third River Basin Management Plans and caused an infringement procedure to be started against Bulgaria a year ago in the field of water management by the European Commission. In order to meet Bulgaria's commitments under the Water Framework Directive, the Ministry has taken action to catch up with the delay by the consultant IBRD. Through intensive work of the teams from the four basin directorates, the draft planning documents were completed at an accelerated pace. With the efforts and expertise of the Basin Directorates and the support of the MOEW, the drafts of the updated RBMPs for the period 2022-2027 were prepared in a very short period of time so that, once the consultations are completed, our country would comply with the requirements of the Directive to terminate the infringement procedure.

The published draft RBMPs can be found here:

Information on how to submit comments and suggestions can be found here:


Basin Directorates (BD) are state administrations under the Minister of Environment and Water for water management at basin level. The principle of basin management is based on the natural location of watersheds between the catchment areas of one or several major rivers in the country. Four basin districts have been identified in Bulgaria: the Danube district centred in Pleven, the Black Sea district centred in Varna, the East Aegean Sea district centred in Plovdiv and the West Aegean Sea district centred in Blagoevgrad. The main function of the four river basin districts is to develop, update and implement River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) and Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) for their respective regions. In addition, they determine the permit regime for water abstraction and for the use of water bodies; define sanitary protection zones around drinking water supply facilities; and exercise control to conserve aquatic ecosystems and prevent the effects of harmful water impacts. The Director of the Black Sea Region also has the function to develop, update and report on the implementation of the Marine Strategy with a programme of measures to achieve a good status of the marine environment.