NEW WATER LAW HAS BEEN SIGNED

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On August 2, the President Andrzej Duda signed the new act of Water Law.

The Act of July 20, 2017 will replace the applicable Act of July 18, 2001. New Water Law has been created to meet the need of creation of effective water management funding system. It determines fees for water services exceeding the scope of ordinary or common use of water. Establishment of these regulations was a condition Poland had to meet in order to use funds from the operation programs of the European Union for 2014-2020. Those obligations result from Directive  2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 23, 2000 – the so called Water Framework Directive (WFD).

The Act changes the water management system in Poland. Authorities, that were competent for this issue, will be replaced by a new body – “Polish Waters” National Water Holding (Państwowe Gospodarstwo Wodne “Wody Polskie”), hereinafter the “Polish Waters”. It will pursue the drainage area based water management policy at every level, i.e. at the level of drainage area, water region and river basin. Moreover, the “Polish Waters” will execute ownership rights to public waters owned by the State Treasury, but excluding inland waterways of special importance for transport.

New Water Law also amends regulations related to the plans for counteracting the effects of drought. According to the new Act, on behalf of the Polish Waters, the President of the National Water Management Authority will be authorized to prepare a plan for counteracting the effects of drought, with the approval of the minister with responsibility for agriculture, the minister with responsibility for rural development, the minister with responsibility for fisheries, the minister with responsibility for inland waterway, and regional governors, considering the division of the country into river basin areas.

New Water Law will become effective on January 1, 2018, excluding the provisions regarding water protection against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources that amend the Act of June 7, 2011 on the collective water supply and collective wastewater disposal. These provisions will become effective on the day following the date of publication. More information on the new Water Law and the whole Act are available on the website: http://www.sejm.gov.pl/.

Attachment – Extract from the Water Law Act on counteracting the effects of drought – Download File