Summary of public consultations IIaPGW - how did we inform the public?

18 październikaa 2021 r.

On October 14, 2021, the process of submitting comments as part of public consultations of the 2nd update of water management plans for 9 river basin districts, conducted by the Minister of Infrastructure and the President of the National Water Management Holding Polish Waters, was completed. Public consultations of IIaPGW is the most important stage of the project implemented by PGW WP, during which everyone could have a say in the matter of water management in Poland.

From April 14 to October 14 this year a six-month public consultation on the 2nd update of the water management plans took place - IIaPGW. In this way, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the National Water Management Holding Polish Waters allowed all interested parties to comment on the broadly understood water management and to comment on the draft of these plans. In terms of the organized public consultations, 15 online meetings will be organized, and the following cities are going to host them: Szczecin, Warszawa, Łódź, Kielce, Olsztyn, Gdańsk, Białystok, Lublin, Rzeszów, Kraków, Gliwice, Wrocław, Bydgoszcz, Poznań, and Zielona Góra. The meetings concerned nine river basin districts: Vistula, Odra, Dniester, Danube, Bankówka, Elbe, Niemen, Pregoła and Świeża. Three meetings: in Szczecin, Gdańsk and Łódź were joint meetings, relating to the projects of the 2nd update of water management plans (IIaPGW) and the update of flood risk management plans (aPZRP).

During the meetings, the experts discussed the assumptions of the draft plans, analyzed the existing pressures on the water and the remedial measures proposed in the IIaPGW projects. Due to epidemic restrictions, the meetings were hybrid in nature, where each meeting was streamed on the project website and the recordings were made available in the tab:
In total, over 130 experts, as well as experts from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Polish Waters, from planning units, at KZGW and 11 RZGW, worked on the IIaPGW project, on behalf of the plan contractor.

Over a thousand active participants at hybrid meetings

1048 people actively participated in 15 online meetings, from whom - by asking questions in the chat - a total of 176 comments and questions regarding planning documents were submitted. At the same time, the meetings are broadcast live on the website watched by 3535 unregistered users.

Each meeting was preceded by a press briefing with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the the Regional Authorities of National Water Management Holding Polish Waters. This enabled, in particular, regional and local journalists to directly ask questions about individual investments, plans or challenges related to water management in their regions, and thus provide their recipients with answers and information on the possibility of active participation in the IIaPGW social consultation process.

Information campaign on the consultation process

Care for the good qualitative and quantitative status of Polish waters is one of the key tasks of National Water Management Holding Polish Waters, therefore an information campaign was carried out during the public consultations, the purpose of which was to inform the public about the 2nd update of water management plans and to encourage active participation in public consultations by reporting comments or asking questions. Important tools of the campaign were: website of the project, sponsored articles, newsletter and media relations activities, especially press conferences before individual consultation meetings.

The website is the source of knowledge and news related to the project where you can get acquainted with the IIaPGW projects, the idea of public consultations, the meeting schedule, reports on their duration, methods of submitting comments, but also through which you could submit comments during the consultations. National Water Management Holding Polish Waters prepared a number of materials supporting the consultation process, such as: non-specialized versions of plans, an information brochure, leaflets and posters, which are available here.

An important tool were also sponsored articles, which not only raised issues related to the issue of the quantity and quality of water in Poland, but which, above all, encouraged active participation in the consultation process, with experts' statements and information about the role of planning in water management and activities for the benefit of improving the quality of water in our country. These are articles on:

  1. National Geographic Polska - “Appreciate the water! is the theme of this year's World Water Day celebrations ”- water is the source of life and a driving force for all world economies. Lack of access to water led to the collapse of civilization in the past. It is becoming a scarce commodity in times of climate change, and the spectre of an impending climate crisis requires that adequate water quantity and quality be ensured for future generations. The activities of National Water Management Holding Polish Waters for the retention and protection of water resources are a guarantee for a safe future.
  2. Self-government Portal - "The role of local governments in actions to improve the state of water in the country" - starting from climate change and drinking water shortage, the article deals with the protection of water resources, sustainable use of them, the need for retention, qualitative and quantitative protection, but also emphasizes the important role of local governments that have a real impact on shaping the water management in our country, including by implementing corrective actions resulting from the water management plans.
  3. Business Insider - "Hydroportal - obtaining information about waters has never been easier" - in the article you can read about Hydroportal, a tool that, especially for people planning investments in a given area, allows you to use databases and obtain answers to a number of questions related to with water management, incl. whether the land we are interested in is located in a protected area, floodplain and what are the limitations in achieving environmental goals for a given investment.
  4. Polska Press - on all regional media portals, including:
  • Dziennik Bałtycki - “Success starts with planning! Public consultations on water management plans in river basin districts are about to start" - the article informed about the commencement of public consultations, emphasized the key role of society in shaping the water management in our country, and gave specific instructions on where and how to speak on the issue of water.
  • Dziennik Zachodni - “Clean water, a simple matter? Let's get to know the facts" - referring to the past holidays, often spent by the water, the article refers to data on waters in Poland, which show that almost 75% of river waters and over 20% of lakes require remedial measures to improve or keep them in a good state. The article also reminded and encouraged to join the process of public consultations within IIaPGW.

During the public consultations, the important role of communication with the public about what is happening in the IIaPGW project, as well as the public consultations themselves, were newsletters, providing current information about the project and public consultations, encouraging active participation in this process.

Participation in IIaPGW public consultations would not be possible without proven tools

Throughout the entire duration of public consultations, regardless of the consultation meetings, until October 14th, it was possible to submit comments and conclusions regarding IIaPGW projects via an online questionnaire on the website, via e-mail, in writing, at the place where the planning documents are made available, at the National Water Management Holding Polish Waters, sending comments in writing to the address of the Ministry of Infrastructure in Warsaw and orally, for the record, at the seat of the Ministry of Infrastructure.

At present, the process of collecting comments as part of the IIaPGW public consultations has been completed. Currently, comments are being counted and answers provided by the contractor of the plans - CDM Smith and a team of MI and PGW WP experts, which will be finalized by the Ministry of Infrastructure by approving the discrepancy table. The results of these works will be made available to all those involved and interested in activities aimed at improving the condition of water in our country. We invite you to follow the news on the website and in the tabs

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