Water Negotiations and Investment Planning Support- 'NIPS' Project

Agglomerations/ Water Supply Zones

Agglomerations - Key findings of final report


A specific methodology adapted to the Albanian situation and context was developed and applied for the delineation of agglomerations. This involved:

  • delineation of built-up areas;
  • merging built-up areas into potential agglomerations (long-list), based upon separation distance;
  • excluding potential agglomerations with population equivalent (PE) less than 2,000;
  • discarding from the remainder those in which the concentration of population and/or economic activities is clearly insufficient to raise enough revenues to cover the costs of operation and maintenance (the concentration must be at least 15 PE/ha for an investment project to have some chance of being financially sustainable); and
  • refining the resulting list in direct discussion with AKUM.

In total 165 agglomerations have been identified, which account for roughly two thirds (2.1 million) of Albania’s present population are currently living. The total generated waste water load (PE) is projected to increase from roughly 3.5 million in 2020 to 3.7 million in 2050.

In summary

  • Eight (8) agglomerations (5% of the total) have a maximum load of 100,000 PE or greater, for the planning period envisaged. These are Durrës, Elbasan, Kavaje, Sarandë, Shkodër, Tiranë, Velipoje and Vlorë, which together give rise to a total load of 2.6 million PE, i.e. 68% of the country total.
  • Twenty-six (26) agglomerations (16% of the total) have PE less than 100,000 and greater than or equal to 10,000. These generate a total pollution load of roughly 0.8 million PE (i.e. 20% of the total country load).
  • Ninety-four (94) agglomerations (57% of the total) have PE less than 10,000 and greater than or equal to 2,000. These generate a total pollution load of roughly 0.38 million PE (i.e. 10% of the total country load).
  • In addition to the agglomerations listed above, there are 37 with PE less than 2,000 that generate a total load of about 0.05 million PE (i.e. 1% of country total).

The average load from Albania’s agglomerations is 23,593 PE. This compares with a European Union (EU) average of 21,426 PE, the difference not being significant. The distribution by load category is likewise similar to that of EU Member States.

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