Zagreb na Savi programme (the Programme) is a multi-purpose integrated investment scheme planned in Croatia to serve multiple functions such as: flood mitigation; the improvement of water management for the supply of drinking water, water for irrigation and industrial needs; hydropower generation; urban regeneration and landscape development; the development of transport; the promotion of tourism; and navigation.
At a time when water services and energy are at the forefront of policy agendas around the world, the ambition of this high-profile Programme is to overcome the logic of a stop-gap solution and use the Sava River water resources to combine integrated water management with hydropower utilization. The benefits of the new structures shall foster socio-economic development within a vast area stretching from the Slovenian border to Sisak, comprising of 58 administrative units -19 cities and 39 municipalities which are home to 1,327,111 inhabitants (30.9% of total Croatia’s population, according to 2011 Census figures).
Hence, Zagreb na Savi is designed as a sustainable investment that addresses these key challenges with a long-term sustainable solution which envisages:
- Construction of 10 hydropower plants (HPPs) in the Sava River,
- Connecting the existing Sava-Odra Canal with the Sava River into the Sava-Sava Canal (the Canal),
- Reconstruction of the Jankomir spillway,
- Construction of 17 new bridges (10 on HPPs, 7 crossing the Canal),
- Reconstruction of 6 bridges on the Sava-Odra Canal.
Through the Programme, 130 MW of new energy production capacity shall be established and the flood protection scheme which was developed in the 1970s but left unfinished, shall be completed.
In respect of floods, currently an area along the Sava River in Zagreb between flood protection levees is regularly flooded, and the entire stretch of the Sava in Croatia is vulnerable to flooding. The Programme shall provide flood protection to these areas and also reclaim from floods a very large amount of riverside land (i.e. 500 hectares in Zagreb) which shall become available for new use.
The Programme is under the authority of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy which chairs the Steering Board (or Steering Committee), a body responsible for strategic decisions regarding the Programme. The Steering Board was established with the decision on the preparation of the Programme Sava (published in Official Gazette 101/13, 85/15, 62/16). Its Members are representatives from line Ministries; City of Zagreb, Zagreb County, Sisak-Moslavina County; Hrvatska Elektroprivreda HEP d.d.; Croatian Waters; and the Center for Monitoring Business Activities in the Energy Sector and Investments (CEI). The preparation phase activities are coordinated by the Zagreb na Savi team employed by Program Sava d.o.o., a special purpose company established by HEP as its 100% owned subsidiary, to perform the Programme Management Unit tasks until all institutional arrangements are decided by the Steering Board for both the implementation and the operation phases. This company is assisted by the Expert Council, an independent discussion panel formed by recognised experts in the fields covered by the Programme, established by Program Sava d.o.o. to assess key project deliverables.