Due to its geographic location and topography, 84% of Macedonia’s surface water sources are generated domestically. The agricultural sector accounts for 43% of annual surface and groundwater withdrawals and Macedonia’s mountainous landscape also supports hydropower generation. However, water resources in Macedonia are sensitive to climate change regarding both quantity and quality. Reductions in available surface water for some major rivers are estimated between 8-10% by 2025 and 18-24% by 2100. Groundwater recharge in some basins is estimated to decrease continuously, reaching approximately 58% of current recharge levels by 2100. Overall water availability is expected to decrease by 18% by 2100. Current challenges in the sector include poorly designed and maintained irrigation systems, unregulated use of surface and groundwater, lack of reliable data on water consumed for irrigation, water pricing practices, and ineffective implementation of water law.
This section provides insights into projected climate change impacts on various hydrological indicators.