The Hungarian watershed of the Sajó River (a shared river basin with Slovakia), representing about 5% of the country's population and territory was used as a case study to analyze issues of EU accession with special regard to drinking water supply and urban wastewater management. In the past the Sajó was one of the most contaminated Hungarian rivers due to industrial, transboundary and municipal emissions. For today its quality became acceptable due to industrial transformation and municipal wastewater management. The uniqueness of the problem stems from the fact that 30% of the population lives in small settlements of low level of water service. In the frame of the present study large number of water supply, sewerage and wastewater treatment strategies were developed to study the solution of existing problems and to meet EU requirements. For transboundary loads several scenarios were prepared. The investment costs of alternatives were evaluated on the basis of a detailed comparison of international and national estimation techniques. Water quality impacts in terms of traditional components were assessed by using models. Affordability was analyzed and a phased development policy was recommended.

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