• Svetlana Stevović University Union Nikola Tesla, Faculty of Construction Management, Belgrade



The Drina River has always been a source of drinking water and irrigation
for food production, with all its tributaries and branching catchment area across the territories
of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. It has connected peoples and cultures
for centuries with its bridges. At the same time, with its great head, the Drina has always
represented a significant hydropower potential. Throughout history, numerous watermills
have been built on it. Currently, there are several constructed hydro-technical facilities on the
Drina and in its catchment area. Among them, the most important are dams, with roads over
them, associated hydroelectric power plants and belonging structures for flood control, water
intakes for drinking water or irrigation. Due to multiple possible, almost always conflicting
purposes, as well as several states, entities and other stakeholders, the management of Drina
River water resources from the angle of the water-food-energy and climate nexus is an
extremely complex problem. In addition to the impact on hydropower, agriculture, forestry,
transport, irrigation and drainage, tourism and socio-cultural events, the construction of such
strategic structures has also an impact on the climate of the Western Balkans. The issue of
optimization within the nexus of the water-food-energy-climate requires holistic research to
find synergistic solutions. These solutions are certainly a compromise. But inevitably, they
must meet the criteria of sustainable development and the requirements of reducing global
warming, according to the set conditions of the adopted European Green Plan for the Western
Balkans. This paper proposes a methodology for finding optimal/compromise hydropower
solutions, which synergistically include all parameters of influence. Holistic research of
sustainable hydropower systems on the Drina River, from the angle of the water-food-energyclimate
nexus, is presented. Particularly detailed analyses of the course of the river between
the towns of Foča and Goražde, as well as the downstream part between Zvornik and mouth,
known as the Lower Drina. In these sections, the most pronounced conflict is whether water
will be used for drinking and/or food production and/or energy production and what impact
possible solutions have on the climate of the region.