Aspects of municipal wastewater management in the Danube Basin are discussed with particular focus to the needs of Central and Eastern European transition countries of much lower infrastructure and economic development than Germany and Austria. The present situation of infrastructure development and nutrient emissions are discussed, which cover countries, point- and non-point sources, retentions and loads carried by the Danube to the Black Sea. Removal rates and costs of seven state-of-the-art technologies are outlined which are one of the important tools of nutrient emission reduction in the Basin. Development needs are evaluated under the assumption of approaching infrastructure levels of Germany and Austria, and nutrient emission reduction goals of the North-East Black Sea. Capital and annualized costs are estimated and the issue of affordability is addressed by analyzing different strategies and conditions of financing. Two indicators are used: total annual cost per GDP and head specific total annual cost related to the net household expenditure. The second one can be critically high which under the present modest economic growth can be balanced primarily by the increase of the implementation period of investments. The paper is completed by Hungarian strategic experiences of the past fifteen years in wastewater management, implementation and financing.

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