Securing Water Supply in Macedonia

OC Global consulted on multipurpose dam for Macedonia.


Help northeastern Macedonia secure year-round water supply

Northeastern Macedonia faced a severe water resource deficiency and experienced seasonal shortages of drinking water in urban and rural areas. Further, a high incidence of waterborne diseases indicated that water resources were being contaminated by untreated municipal wastewater.

The municipalities affected included Kratovo, Probistip, Zletovo, Sveti Nikole, Lozovo, Karbinci, and Stip. The area also encountered a shortage of water for irrigation in the dry season, limiting the productivity of wheat and other crops, keeping the area underdeveloped with high rates of poverty.

Upon request from the government of Macedonia, Japan provided a JICA official development assistance (ODA) loan to assist in solving the seasonal shortage of municipal water in the above areas.


The Zletovica Basin Water Utilization Improvement Project, the first Japanese ODA Loan project in Macedonia, began in 2003 to supply raw water to municipalities in the Zletovica River basin. It comprised four packages:

  • Construction of an access road
  • Construction of the multipurpose Knezevo Dam
  • Construction of two intakes downstream of the Knezevo Dam and transmission pipelines from the intakes to municipalities
  • Installation of a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system

The objective of the consulting services was for construction of a multipurpose dam (total reservoir capacity: 23.5 million m3) on the upper stream of the Zletovica River, 80 km east of the Macedonian capital Skopje, as well as related intake and raw water transmission facilities in the neighboring area.

Main services:

  • Review of detailed design for the intake facilities, main water supply pipelines, Knezevo Dam and its related structures (“the hydro system”)
  • Supervision of construction of the hydro system, particularly for quantity, quality, and progress control of the construction work


Knezevo Dam

  • Reservoir vol.: 23.5 mil. m3
  • Dam type: zoned rockfill with asphalt core (t = 600 mm)
  • Dam height: 75 m; crest length: 270 m; crest width: 10 m
  • Diversion tunnel: length of 320 m, ⌀3.4 m

Delivery pipelines for water supply

  • Joint delivery pipeline: length of 22.9 km, ⌀864 mm
  • Delivery pipeline for Stip: length of 10.9 km, ⌀660 mm
  • Delivery pipeline for Sveti Nikole: length of 23.30 km, ⌀457 mm
  • Delivery pipeline for Karbinci: length of 4.5 km, ⌀300 mm
  • Delivery pipeline for Lozovo: length of 11.2 km, ⌀200 mm

SCADA and telecom system for monitoring water flow, controlling valves, and monitoring CCTV of intake with fiber-optic cables

Between 2011 and 2014 OC Global provided services to support the construction of a new water treatment plant at Probistip and rehabilitation of the water treatment plant at Stip.

Official Title
The Zletovica Basin Water Utilization Improvement Project
Project Type
Dam, Water Supply
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Macedonia / Public Enterprise Hydrosystem Zletovica (PEHZ) /JICA
Project Period

2004 – 2013

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Clean water supply to northern Macedonia by construction of dam and intakes, access road, and installation of monitoring system.

“This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest investment in east Macedonia in the past 20 years,”
Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski (2013)