The Institute for Water Management Ltd was established in 1992 in the Republika Srpska to develop and plan an integrated water management infrastructure. It is located in Bijeljina, which is favourably situated between the two largest areas in the Republika Srpska, which are most important demographically and with regard to water infrastructure and communications.
The Institute is a privately-owned company dealing with water resource development in the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. We can successfully solve the most complex tasks of planning integrated systems in the fields of water use (water supply, wastewater disposal, irrigation), water protection, flood protection, as well as in planning the most up-to-date management methods for systems of the highest levels of complexity. Over the past 25 years, the Institute has been successfully and steadily developing, becoming one of the most competent water planning and research institutions in this region. The Institute has ranked among the few water sector institutions that are capable of successfully producing the most comprehensive strategic planning documents, such as the ‘Integrated Water Management Strategy of the Republika Srpska’. The Strategy was completed in 2014 and is one of the most comprehensive planning documents in water management, which very few institutions in the world would be able to produce. Such planning documents are treated globally as the most important strategic documents, immediately after the Constitution and the Spatial Plan. The growth and development of the Institute confirms the maxim that the most vital, effective and stable institutions are those created in adversity.
When the reorganization of various activities and sectors in B&H began in 1992, one of the most important and urgent demands was in the water sector, since water is the most vital human need. It was imperative to immediately form a professionally competent and efficient institution which would in the shortest possible time solve numerous urgent problems in the water sector generated during turbulent times (destroyed water utility infrastructure, water supply for numerous new settlements, flood protection, etc.), and then continue to deal with primarily operational problems, and later long-term and increasingly comprehensive problems in the development of the water management infrastructure of the Republika Srpska. In response to this situation, the Institute for Water Management was established in October 1992 in Ilidza. The company was established by a group of respected experts from various water management areas who, until then, worked in one of the best organized water institutions in the former Yugoslavia, the Institute for Water Management in Sarajevo. The Institute was first organized as an institution of special social interest which was entrusted with life-saving operational, planning and research tasks in the field of water. Since then, the Institute has steady progressed. It changed its location in accordance with the circumstances of that time (Ilidza, Pale, and finally Bijeljina). In accordance with the legal situation in the Republika Srpska, it changed its ownership structure, becoming a joint stock company funded entirely with private capital. However, the Institute maintained its strategic professional and scientific orientation in spite of these transitional processes. It continued to strengthen the team and train for the competent implementation of the most comprehensive tasks in the integrated management, use and protection of water. This professional orientation was very quickly recognized not only in the Republika Srpska, but also in Europe. References in the Institute’s completed projects show that, from the beginning, the Institute worked very successfully with the European Union, the World Bank, the expert bodies of the governments of Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, Norway, the Danube Commission, as well as several other international institutions. The Institute has successfully carried out an even greater number of projects for domestic clients. The long list includes projects of many water supply systems, sewage systems, river engineering and flood protection works, water and spring protection systems, land improvement systems (including the most significant project in that area: the ‘Study of Sustainable Development of Irrigated Areas in the Republika Srpska’). In addition to the previously mentioned ‘Integrated Water Management Strategy of the Republika Srpska’, the following are the most significant projects and have a great strategic importance: ‘Framework Plan for the Development of Water Management in the Republika Srpska’ (which in the first stage defines the basic strategy for managing the water resources of the Entity), ‘Study - Analysis of the Water Balance of the Republika Srpska’, ‘Study of the impact of the ‘Gornji Horizonti’ interbasin transfer to the surface and groundwater regime’ (developed in the consortium with ‘Energoprojekt – Hidroinzenjering’), ‘Study on the methodology for determining environmental flow in systems with reservoirs and intakes’, ‘Erosion Map for the Republika Srpska’ which was prepared by using state-of-the-art GIS information technologies, ‘The Trebisnjica and Neretva River Basin Management Plan in the Trebisnjica District River Basin in the Republika Srpska’. We have successfully developed a very comprehensive and important planning document ‘Management Plan for the Trebisnjica Reservoirs and Hydroelectric Power Stations’, which can be used as an exemplary management project enabling the extremely complex and important Trebisnjica hydro energy system to enter the most advanced stage of cybernation of facilities and system management as a whole, in order to maximize energy and water management effectiveness. ‘Relocation of the Musnica River Channel in Veliko Gatacko Polje’, enables the further development of the large ‘Gacko’ thermal power system. Complex river engineering works on the river Musnica in Avtovac, upgraded the riparian area for sport and leisure activities (pedestrian and bicycle paths, swimming pools) and connected this area with the Klinje reservoir in order to protect the natural flow of the Musnica from degradation by urbanization. There are also irrigation projects: 14,500ha in Lijevce Polje, 6,000ha in Potkozarje, 10,000ha in Semberija and 1,000ha in Trebinjsko Polje. A very important technological breakthrough carried out by the Institute is the organisation and management of the project for a wastewater treatment plant in Bileca using the latest SBR technology. With this extremely successful project, the Republika Srpska joined the countries that have mastered this most efficient and sound technology for wastewater treatment. This plant is a very important facility for the protection of the Bileca Lake from the eutrophication process, but also an example of how wastewater treatment in other towns in the Republika Srpska should be carried out.
After the 2014 floods, the Institute implemented numerous comprehensive river management and flood protection projects in Semberija, Doboj and Banja Luka. The most important projects are the ‘Development of Flood Risk and Flood Hazard Maps in the Vrbas River Basin in B&H’, with developed hydrological and hydraulic models for the entire basin, and the ‘Development of a Real-Time Management Model for the Sana and Una River Basins in the Republika Srpska’ using the MIKE software package. The achievement of the strategic objectives of the water sector, in particular the planning and implementation of the integrated systems, depends primarily on having a professional team, and then on organized and stable financial support to this sector. We pay great attention to educating staff at the Institute. Since the founding of the Institute, two employees have been awarded the title of Doctor of Science and two the title of Master of Science. Today, the Institute has fourteen employees, ten of whom are bachelors in hydraulic engineering and one is a bachelor in structural engineering. Thanks to its rigour and reliability, the Institute is one of the few institutions that has the highest scientific, professional and business credibility that enables it to bring together the most eminent experts from several countries in all areas of water science to solve the most complex problems. This enables the Institute to carry out the most comprehensive tasks at the highest professional level, with internationally verified credibility. Also, in the course of its regular activities, the Institute cooperates with and uses the services of numerous specialized companies and institutions from home and abroad, bringing together teams of the twenty most famous university professors and other top experts from various fields, from several countries. The Institute has always endeavoured to be a loyal business partner fulfilling all obligations in a reliable, thorough and timely manner.