Summary of webinar concerning the Project Review of significant water management issues

8 lipca 2020 r.

On June 10, 2020, a webinar was held as part of the public consultation of the Project Review of significant water management issues, which was attended by nearly 200 people.

The opening of the webinar, on behalf of Anna Moskwa, the Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, was made by Monika Butryn-Niemiec, the Director of the Department of Water Management and Inland Navigation. Then the guests were welcomed by Przemysław Gruszecki, the Director of the Water Environment Management Department of the National Water Management Holding Polish Waters , who is responsible for the implementation of the Project Review of significant water management issues. He brought the participants closer to the place of the document in water management planning. He also pointed out that this is another step on the way of updating water management plans, a basic water management document that sets out the vision of water management for the next six-year cycle. According to the Water Framework Directive, it is necessary to ensure public participation at the stage of creating planning documents.  The project Review of significant water management problems aims to identify and classify all problems, primarily those that impede the maintenance or achievement of environmental goals, as well as the factors causing their occurrence.
"Water management plans are not only a document presenting the vision of water management, directions of activities and strategic ideas for water management, it is also a rich resource of knowledge about the state of our aquatic environment, how we use waters. What impact does our day-to-day activities have on human and individual sectors of the economy? Water management plans are a kind of crowning achievement for the works carried out by a wide group of experts during the six-year cycle.  The voice of society allows us to make decisions not only based on our assumptions, but also direct them in accordance with the needs and the vision of society. That is why participation in creating the Review of significant water management issues is so important. Its purpose is to best prepare the foundations for water management plans and to develop a program of activities that will lead our waters of all categories: rivers, lakes, coastal and transitional waters to the state specified in our regulations (following the Water Framework Directive) as good, possibly as close to natural as possible ”- explained the Director Przemysław Gruszecki.
The rest of the webinar featured a series of presentations that make up the Review of important water management problems for River Basin Districts project. Dr. Marcin Pchałek, from CDM Smith company, started and presented the goals, assumptions and methodological concepts of the structure of the prepared document. After this introduction, subsequent experts presented the following thematic areas: Dr. Daniel Gebler discussed the subject of qualitative protection of surface and groundwater, focusing on individual significant problems identified in the country, as well as presented the structure of the significance of problems in individual river basins. After him, Dr. Paweł Prus took the floor and discussed the morphological changes of surface waters. The topic of protecting the quantitative status of surface and underground waters was discussed by Dr. Sylwia Horska-Schwarz. Then legal, organisational and social aspects were presented by Dr. Marcin Pchałek. He was followed by Piotr Rak, who analysed the economic and financial problems of the Review.
During the webinar, participants could submit their questions via chat. The speakers tried to provide answers on an ongoing basis. Finally, the specificity of maintenance works, the catalogue of good practices and investments, the national surface water renaturation program were discussed. The deviation from environmental goals of planned investments and the aspect of pressure analysis were also touched upon during the webinar. All questions submitted during the webinar will be treated as part of the public consultation. By June, the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation had received 50 comments to which it is going to refer at a later stage of work on the project. All applications submitted during the consultations will be taken into account.
At the end of the webinar, the results of the survey, in which participants of the meeting took part, were given. They answered the question what water management problem they considered the most important. 41 percent of respondents concluded that the most important is the qualitative protection of surface and groundwater. 34 percent replied: the protection of the quantitative status of surface and underground waters. 14 percent pointed to legal and organisational aspects. 7 percent recognised that morphological changes in surface waters were of key importance. Economic and financial aspects were considered the least important, they were indicated by 3 percent of respondents.
Performing the Review of significant water management problems in river basin districts together with conducting public consultations fulfils the requirements of applicable regulations, that is, the article 319 section 4 of the act Water Law of 20th July 2017 (Journal of Laws 2018, item 2268 with later amendments). The preparation of the Review is one of the key elements in the development, review and update of river basin water management plans.
On June 18, 2020, the half-year public consultations on the draft document entitled 'Project Review of Important Water Management Problems for River Basin Districts' announced by the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation in cooperation with The National Water Management Holding Polish Waters Further works are underway to develop II update of water management plans.
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