Let’s say Drought stop together! – drought effects counteracting plan consultation begins

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The Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation invites to the six-month public consultation for the drought effects counteracting plan (DECP). The consultation will run from 15 August 2019 to 15 February 2020 and will take place in 15 largest Polish cities. Everyone can submit their comments and insights. This is the most important stage of the strategic project ‘Drought stop!’ implemented by the National Water Management Authority.

– The commencing DECP consultation will deepen the perception of drought in Poland by the highly important social aspect. Understanding and approval of the proposed actions are necessary for the success of the entire project – said Przemysław Daca, President of the National Water Management Authority.

– We care about every insight. Only after all comments have been collected, the drought effects counteracting plan design will become the first, such comprehensive document concerning the phenomenon of drought in Poland, and an important step towards real adaptation to climate change. Participants of the consultation will be presented with an in-depth analysis of the phenomenon, proposals for enhancing its monitoring, and we will also propose a wide catalogue of actions aiming at minimizing drought effects. DECP is not only a document for the next few years. It will also determine the perspective for subsequent future studies – President Daca added.

Poland is one of the countries with lowest water resources in the European Union. During drought, there is only 1,000 cubic meters of water per one resident of our country per whole year. This is four times less than in other EU countries. Low water retention level is one of the reasons for this unfavourable state of affairs. Only approx. 6.5% of the so called annual river run-off is retained in Poland. This is definitely too low, and thus DECP contains as many as 68 proposals for construction and reconstruction of water facilities used for retention enhancement and supporting drought effects counteracting.

DECP, which will be the most outcome of the Drought stop! project, along with water management plans and flood risk management plans will contribute to the enhancement of water management in Poland. After the public consultation, the DECP project will be subject to the strategic environmental impact assessment, and the final element in 2020 will be its adaptation through the ordinance of the minister competent for water management. In this way, Poland will be among the 10 European countries that have developed plans to counteract drought effects. Documents of this rank have been developed by, among others: United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and Ukraine.

President of the National Water Management Authority is obliged to prepare the drought effects counteracting plan by the provisions of the Art. 240 (2) item 8) of the Act of 20 July 2017 – Water Law (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 2268). Thus far in the Drought stop! project the methodology for the DECP preparation has been developed, an unprecedented survey among 3,500 entities associated with water management was performed. Possibilities of demonstrating the draft plan included two national expert conferences. All works are financed from European funds (Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020).

The Drought stop! project is accompanied by a public campaign entitled ‘Pamiętaj o wodzie!’ (Remember about water!). More information at www.stopsuszy.pl and www.wody.gov.pl