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Improving flood protection

АGoran Puzovic, Director of PWMC ’’Srbijavode’’, article for Sixth Annual Bulletin

The events that marked 2021, and several previous years, indicate accelerated climate change and the fact that climate change no longer represents the future but is already present.

The period from 2014 until today has been marked by different natural phenomena with catastrophic consequences all over the world, such as floods, fires, earthquakes and landslides. These events have not bypassed our country and we are witnessing flood waves in large parts of Serbia. In addition to increasing the amount of precipitation, their intensity is also on the rise.

It is no longer a question of whether something will happen, but when and where! Do we have an answer for what is happening to us today and what will happen in the coming years?

The answer is prevention; the answer is in serious, dedicated and systematic work, as well as in planning and connecting all defence factors, both at the level of the state, as well as at the level of local governments.

Together we form a unique system of defence against floods and only by acting together do we have a chance to decrease the risk, save human lives and reduce the consequences to a minimum.

Such events make the task of defence and protection from floods and landslides even more difficult and serious. In 2014, the Government of the Republic of Serbia recognized the importance of investing in flood protection, which has enabled PWMC "Srbijavode" to achieve exceptional results in cooperation with state institutions in the period of recovery.

Today, PWMC "Srbijavode" is a company which has excellent cooperation with all parts of the state system, as well as local governments, but also international organizations and development funds. Our engineers are developing an innovative water management information system; they are involved in almost every international organization and commission, where they acquire new knowledge and skills, which they apply every day in the development of our systems.

In the period between 2014 - 2021, with financial resources provided by the Government of the Republic of Serbia, PWMC "Srbijavode" implemented 17 capital investments to improve flood protection in the most endangered areas in Serbia.

The flood protection system in Serbia consists of numerous public water facilities: 2,142 km of embankments, 4,942 km of drainage channels with 54 pumping stations and 43 dams with accumulations.

PWMC "Srbijavode" has implemented over 700 projects which aim to provide security on the banks of the rivers for all citizens.

Intense cooperation with all relevant factors in the water sector is one of the primary objectives of PWMC "Srbijavode". In the field of international cooperation PWMC "Srbijavode" participates in the work of the Danube and Sava Commission, UNESCO and other international organizations with the aim to represent our country with dignity.

Cooperation with the Port Governance Agency has been going on for many years by communicating on a daily level, participating in joint projects, in particular the Agreement on the realization of the first phase of the project of constructing a marina in Veliko Gradište, which has been signed this year. Thanks to this very important infrastructure project, the municipality of Veliko Gradište will get a marina and be included among attractive destinations for boaters, which will increase the visibility of Serbia’s nautical potential and make the cultural and historical sites and natural resources of our country more accessible to foreign tourists..

Further activities are aimed at the improvement of existing and construction of new infrastructure projects. In order to exchange knowledge that would contribute to more balanced development, as well as the development of the Danube Region and the port sector, cooperation with the project partners and relevant institutions will continue. Projects like this contribute to increasing the social wealth of the Republic of Serbia, which is reflected in the production of lasting values for future generations.

The right to water is a basic life and human right, and our task is to provide that right for each and every one of our citizens. In the coming period, we expect even more intense climate change, which will make all of these tasks more difficult and more complex. Therefore, only by constant investment and preventive action can we hope for a more secure future for all, as well as generations to come.