Cargill Currents in Bulgaria

Cargill Currents is a diversified GWC and Cargill partnership platform designed to address water challenges in priority communities and watersheds. Beyond water access, our partnership is improving community health, farmer livelihoods, promoting women’s empowerment, protecting critical basins and building climate change resilience. By the end of 2024, the program will benefit over 150,000 people with improved water access in priority communities while advancing water security in priority basins. Among these people are 16 rural communities in Bulgaria.

“I’m excited to be part of Cargill Cares initiatives, because every time I see so many engaged and inspiring people who find the time and strength to do more for our community. Whether it’s part of our daily job or our volunteer efforts, Cargill Bulgaria’s 1600+ employees are tackling some of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges – from climate change to education needs. And it shows! The Global Water Challenge is Cargill’s global partner for 4 years already, but Bulgaria is the first European country to join the program in collaboration with Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation. Thanks to your initiative we found an opportunity to join Cargill’s global CSR program and be the leading example for EMEA. This is an achievement by itself and it opens the door to more opportunities for global collaborations in support of our local communities.” says Katerina Ruseva, Cargill Bulgaria Lead.

Sofia and Varna regions include vast areas occupied by karst landscape. These specific features determine the scarcity of surface waters, which is further exacerbated by climate change. The projections, used for the preparation of the river basin management plans (RBMP) of Provadiiska and Blato rivers, indicate a further decline of the mean annual rainfall with 7.5% for the Black Sea Basin until 2050.

This is expected to have a direct negative impact on the river discharge and respectively on the availability of water resources. Cargill Currents Bulgaria aims at decreasing the negative impact by:

  • Restoring and rehabilitating 6 water fountains and micro wetlands
  • Planting 200 hydrophilic tree species as a climate mitigation measure
  • Training locals will become “guardians of the fountains” and will commit to the conservation of the water sources

In Bulgaria, there is a centuries-old tradition of building fountains “cheshma” for public use by capturing potable waters from natural springs. “Cheshma” used to be the main source of drinking water both for people and livestock. Some of these fountains exist and are used for drinking water where there is no water-supply infrastructure or because of higher water quality, but many are destroyed. The excess water after the fountain forms a small stream, temporary or permanent pond or wetland. The water table creates a habitat with ecological importance by contributing as a network of habitat patches, forming ‘stepping stones’ for the distribution and migration of protected species.

Our partner from the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation are on a mission to collect all necessary information to help us select the most clean, potent and critical water sources for renovation. Next steps are to do the work to renovate the fountains and for all of us to preserve and enjoy them.

Learn more about the project step-by-step with Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation journals