site.btaRoundtable Discusses Options for Attracting Investors in Bulgaria's Mineral Springs
MPs and executive government officials on Tuesday discussed ways to attract investors to utilize Bulgaria's mineral water resources. They concurred that mineral water contributes to improving the quality of life and can make Bulgaria an even more popular tourist destination. They agreed that the State should support municipalities in developing options for utilizing mineral springs.
The roundtable was held at the National Assembly on the initiative of Rossitsa Kirova MP of GERB-UDF with the support of the Mineral Water Association (MWA). It was attended by members of the central government and local authorities, lawmakers, representatives of foreign embassies and NGOs.
Kirova said Bulgaria has over 240 mineral water deposits and should utilize them in the best possible way. Their total discharge is estimated at 5,600 litres per second. The composition and the quality of the water varies considerably, and its temperature can be anywhere between 20 C and 100 C.
Mineral water resources are an asset for the tourist industry which can create more jobs, especially in underdeveloped parts of Bulgaria, Kirova said. According to her, the roundtable is the first step in initiating interaction among public institutions in this field. She called for joint efforts of the Ministries of Health, Tourism, Environment and Water, and Economy and Industry. Support from the central government is essential because municipalities do not have enough financial resources, Kirova noted.
MWA President Tsvetelina Lukarska said a 3D map of Bulgaria's mineral springs is being drawn up with the participation of the Academy of Sciences. She underscored the positive effect of mineral water on various diseases.
Continue the Change MP Ivo Atanasov believes that three Ministries must be involved in the matter - the Ministries of health, ecology and economy. To evade disputes among municipalities about the springs' use, the decision must be made by the Council of Ministers to finally clear the ownership, he said.
In the course of the discussion Miroslav Krastanov from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences confirmed that the potential for mineral water utilization in the country is significant, giving examples with balneotherapy and the use and bottling of mineral water by more than 40 enterprises as of now.