Volga River Project
USD 320 MILLION FUNDING FOR CLEANER, SUSTAINABLE USE OF RUSSIA’S ICONIC VOLGA RIVER
Russia is home to about a quarter of the world’s fresh water. The Volga River, the longest river in Europe, is widely viewed as the Mother River of Russia and 11 of the 20 largest cities in the country are situated in its basin. The deterioration of existing infrastructure along the Volga River has significantly impacted the quality of water supply and sanitation services in the region. Meanwhile, wastewater from households, farms and industries flushed into the river through rain and floods accounts for more than one third of the country’s total discharges into water bodies.

NDB has partnered with the Russian Government to support modernisation of water supply and sanitation systems in five competitively selected cities in the Volga River basin: Cheboksary, Dzerzhinsk, Ivanovo, Rybinsk and Volzhsky, with populations ranging between 190,000 to 490,000 inhabitants. The Bank approved a USD 320 million loan in May 2018 to support the project’s total cost of USD 400 million. The remaining amount will be provided by the Russian Government (USD 49 million) and city governments and water service providers (USD 31 million).

Implementation of the Volga River project will be two-fold. Firstly, the project will entail constructing advanced water and sewage treatment facilities, water supply and drainage networks and storm water collection systems. Secondly, it will make use of advanced technology that prevents leakages in the water supply network and equipment to improve the process efficiency of the existing infrastructure.

The intended impact of the project includes reducing the environmental damage to the Volga River and minimising the underground water pollution. This will be achieved by decreasing the percentage of untreated wastewater in centralised wastewater removal systems from 9% to 0%.

The project is expected to contribute to safeguarding the health of citizens in the five cities by improving the quality of water supply and sanitation services through the introduction of modern water treatment technologies.