Drought Effects Counteracting Plan – implementation by cooperation. This is the slogan of the National Stop Drought! Conference, which took place on 6 October 2020.
The subject matter of the conference included both a summary of work on the development of the Plan and a presentation of the findings of the document and the results of economic analyses, as well as issues related to the rights and responsibility for counteracting the effects of drought.
The legal aspects of drought risk management are presented in detail and a set of valuable information on the conversion of the DECP findings into activities of government and self-government administration bodies is presented. The discussion panel provided comprehensive information on the experience of the units involved in the development of a planning document by the name of DECP. The diversified nature of the issues discussed led to the final conclusions which unequivocally confirmed the conference slogan ‘implementation by cooperation’. These conclusions indicate the need to develop conscious participation of society in counteracting the effects of drought, introducing solutions that increase retention in a holistic approach to shaping the water cycle, implementing the DECP findings in spatial planning, development strategies and shaping efficient financial mechanisms to increase the effectiveness of counteracting the effects of drought.
The online form of the conference enabled the remote participation of nearly 500 registered individuals. The participants asked questions to the presented content and held substantive discussions in a chat room and by e-mail (the questions were sent to a dedicated e-mail address). A total of 128 entries containing references were submitted, including questions on the substantive aspect of the meeting. The questions were grouped into 23 thematic threads and comprehensive answers were provided.
- When will we get to know the proposal for a regulation of the minister responsible for water management adopting the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan? With whom is the scope of the DECP agreed?
Pursuant to Article 185(1) of the Water Law Act (Journal of Laws 2020, item 310, as amended) – as cited: ‘The project of the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan is prepared by Polish Waters in consultation with the minister responsible for agriculture, the minister responsible for rural development, the minister responsible for fishery, the minister responsible for inland navigation and with voivodes, taking into account the division of the country into river basin areas. Polish Waters submit the project of the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan to the minister responsible for water management, who adopts said plan, by way of a regulation, taking into account the need to counteract the effects of drought (Article 185 (6))’.
As far as the environment is concerned, the units giving opinion on the DECP include the General Directorate for Environmental Protection and the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, as units responsible for environmental impact assessment.
The order of work on the document has been maintained and the legislative work to adopt the DECP will begin soon. It is estimated that the works will take about 3 months.
- Where can I find the summary of the public consultation on the environmental impact assessment for the DECP project?
The final version of the environmental impact assessment with attachments, including the table with the consideration of comments and conclusions, as well as with the summary, can be found at the link below: https://wody.gov.pl/nasze-dzialania/stop-suszy.
- Questions about the way of considering comments and conclusions submitted during public consultations on the DECP project:
Everyone interested in the way of considering the issues that arose during the six-month public consultations of the project of the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan is invited to visit the website: gospodarkamorska.bip.gov.pl.
- What is the scope of Polish Waters’ rights to counteract the effects of drought? Who is responsible for counteracting the effects of drought in Poland?
Questions about the scope of responsibility and the ability to perform tasks and activities that rests with Polish Waters concerned both the issues related to the statutory delegation covered by the provisions of the Water Law (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 310, as amended) and those resulting from the organisational structure. The current organisational regulations of the State Water Management Polish Waters are available on the website wody.gov.pl.
Pursuant to Article 183 of the Water Law Act, as cited: ‘Counteracting the effects of drought is the task of government and self-government administration bodies as well as of Polish Waters.’ The main role of Polish Waters in this regard is to prepare a project of the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan, which is the main document indicating the directions of activities aimed at minimising the effects of this phenomenon.
- What determined the ADOPTED SCOPE OF COUNTERACTING THE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT?
During the conference, questions were asked about the content of the document in general, the layout of the content, as well as about investment activities or individual catalogue activities. The layout of the document is regulated by law (Article 184 (2) of the Water Law Act), therefore the layout and scope of the DECP is derived from the following indications:
- analysis of the possibility of increasing the available water resources;
- proposals for the construction or reconstruction of water facilities;
- proposals for necessary changes in the use of water resources and changes to natural and artificial retention;
- catalogue of activities to counteract the effects of drought.
In the context of the proportion of the DECP content devoted to investment tasks and natural retention, it should be noted that in the first analytical part, indications of the possibility of increasing available resources, as well as in the third part determining the scope of retention changes, and also in individual catalogue activities, natural retention is indicated as a requirement for its strengthening and restoration. In order to effectively counteract the effects of drought, it is necessary to implement activities in the field of both natural and artificial retention, carried out on a large and a small scale (In the DECP, the necessity to use various forms of retention is included in section 1.6., which contains the possibility of increasing the available water resources, as well as in section 3.4 – Needs and proposed changes to natural and artificial retention), using both technical and non-technical activities. At the same time, which is emphasised in the document and in responses to comments received during public consultations of the DECP, it is necessary to use the synergy of both forms of implementation to increase the retention capacity of our country. When implementing projects in the field of artificial retention, e.g. by constructing reservoirs, it is necessary to minimise the environmental impact, e.g. by building fish ladders and flushing sluices. The DECP should be viewed as a whole. Selective consideration of its findings or focusing attention on the attachments with proposals for the construction and reconstruction of water facilities to strengthen retention and counteract the effects of drought does not allow for the assessment of the purposefulness and effectiveness for the implementation of the goal set in the DECP. The holistic approach to counteracting the effects of drought is reflected in a set of catalogue activities that meet the needs of retaining water in the landscape, in the soil through, for example, slowing down surface runoff, improvement of infiltration conditions, changes in the approach to the management of rainwater, water from intakes or a change in the society’s approach to water resources and ecosystems dependent on them.
- NATURAL RETENTION in the DECP
The project of the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan, for example in Chapter 1.3, indicates that one of the elements of natural retention is landscape retention. The entire project points to the importance of water retention in the landscape and the need to increase natural retention. Furthermore, the document points out that, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive, natural retention measures should be taken into account as a priority when planning measures to counter the effects of drought. The need to increase natural retention is also found in catalogue activities number 1, 2, 4 or 6.
The answer to the question whether recultivation activities for once drained wetlands are undertaken in Poland? Yes, this is the case, especially in areas once affected by cones of depression.
In catalogue activity No 4 – Implementation of projects aimed at increasing or restoring natural retention, it was established that the purpose of the activity is to implement investments in the field of construction and reconstruction of water facilities, as well as non-technical activities enabling the increase of natural retention and projects aimed at changing the use of water resources to improve functioning of aquatic ecosystems and dependent waters. The activity covers both technical projects within the watercourse bed and related facilities as well as restoration and renaturalisation activities in the valley in order to restore the functions of ecosystems dependent on water and wetlands and the retention capacity of river beds and valleys.
- Is the National Surface Water Renaturalisation Programme a part of the DECP and will it be financed from it?
National Surface Water Renaturalisation Programme was developed as part of the project of the second update of water management plans and will be included in the content of said update. At the same time, it should be noted that the DECP is not a programme that finances activities. Financial mechanisms aimed at these objectives function in various programmes, including regional and local ones. In the DECP project, the catalogue of activities indicates Activity No 26, which is entirely devoted to financing issues, including the development of rules for financing of activities to counteract the effects of drought.
- Retention in isolation from improving water quality?
The question points to the problem of the legitimacy of water retention, the quality of which often requires improvements of indicators for assessing chemical and physicochemical elements. The document that concerns the quality of water is the Water Management Plan implemented according to river basin areas. Thus, the implementation of the water quality objectives is established and the progress in achieving the objectives is monitored under the Water Management Plan. Water management plans pursuant to Article 13 of the Water Framework Directive may be detailed in other sectoral studies – in terms of drought it is the DECP and therefore the DECP does not address the issue of water quality.
- Since there is a decline in the quality and quantity of water resources during droughts, are there any activities planned in the DECP to build new sources of water supply or to treat it on a large scale?
The catalogue of activities to counteract the effects of drought includes Activity No 14, the aim of which is to modernise the existing alternative groundwater intakes and build new ones along with the required infrastructure for the collective supply of water intended for human consumption. This will enable the protection of surface water resources in the event of a hydrological drought and will contribute to ensuring the continuity of collective water supply for human consumption. The implementation of this activity should be based on analyses of the potential for using groundwater for this purpose, as well as on adopting a holistic approach to ensuring continuity of water supply.
- A practical question about the METHOD OF RECOGNISING TASKS IN THE AREA OF WATER MANAGEMENT BY POVIAT UNITS?
Planning documents – Environmental protection programmes for poviats (‘poviat’ is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland). It is difficult for the poviat authorities to set any specific, important tasks in the field of water management, if the reports of the Water Supervision Authority are so terribly structured that it is impossible to identify the water management problem(s) in a particular poviat from them. The reports usually deal with the problems of water supervision and not with problems in a particular poviat covered by the activity of a particular water supervision authority.
As part of the development of environmental protection programmes for poviats, you can use not only data provided by water supervision authorities, but also publicly available data on drought, floods and flooding, soil permeability and land development, groundwater sensitivity, depth of their occurrence, etc. On the other hand, in the aspect of entering tasks into the poviat environmental protection programme – it may be important to detail the provisions resulting from the voivodeship environmental protection programme. An inter-gmina climate change adaptation plan may be a part of the poviat environmental protection programme. The environmental protection programme may also contain recommendations to be included in gmina environmental protection programmes as well as in development strategies and spatial planning acts.
- Were ecophysiographic studies used to develop the DECP, and to what extent?
The Drought Effects Counteracting Plan is a planning document on a national scale in relation to river basin areas. Thus, it performs determining and directional functions for the implementation of counteracting the effects of drought in Poland. The legislation establishes that the DECP findings are to be reflected in planning tasks at lower levels. The opposite direction, i.e. from the local spatial development plans to the DECP, was analysed in terms of the effectiveness of the provisions of the DECP for their proper implementation by local government units. The potential of ecophysiographic studies for the implementation of the DECP findings lies in:
the use of data on the risk of drought (based on the results of work accompanying the development of the DECP) and possible scenarios of climate change related to
- a local or a regional scale,
- indicating vulnerability and sensitivity to climate change and the possibility of adaptation to climate change,
- identifying the possibility of restoring or maintaining retention,
- identifying areas of high water retention capacity and areas of reduced water retention capacity that require compensation.
To sum up, the relation between the DECP and ecophysiographic studies is reversed. In ecophysiographic studies, data prepared for the needs of the DECP can be used.
- INVESTMENT TASKS from attachment 1 A, B, C?
A – How was the SELECTION of the priorities and of order of implementation of investment tasks MADE?
As part of the comments, there were also questions about the selection of investments in the DECP. We would like to inform that pursuant to the Water Law Act, the project of the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan includes, for example, proposals for the construction or reconstruction of water facilities. Fulfilling this statutory provision, the DECP project includes Attachment No 1 (divided into 3 parts: A, B and C), which indicates the proposed investment activities. However, we would like to point out that these are proposals for activities, and thus the list of investments is an open set, which makes it possible to implement investments that are not included in the document. The list of investments in part C included in Attachment 1 is the result of six-month public consultations on the DECP project and includes the declared investment tasks, submitted for implementation by local governments. In this respect, for example, the self-governments of the Łódź Voivodeship were very active and reported nearly 60 investments that were included in the DECP. The list of investments in part B contains activities on smaller watercourses, ditches and canals selected by Polish Waters units in consultation with water companies. Their main goal is to improve water conditions in agricultural areas, through – for instance – restoration of the drainage and irrigation functions of water facilities. As far as list A is concerned – it is a selection of activities from the programme of planned investments in water management, taking into account the investments indicated in the flood risk management plans and in the updated Water Management Plan, for which one of the objectives is to counteract the effects of drought, e.g. by increasing retention.
Typical prioritisation of investment tasks was not carried out, but for each of the tasks we have a given implementation period, planned start date and completion date. Some of the tasks have already been undertaken by Polish Waters, by regional water management boards, or are in the design process in local governments.
Moreover, as indicated in the DECP project itself, investment tasks are one of the elements of counteracting the effects of drought, and the most important element of the document is the catalogue of activities, containing a set of necessary undertakings, without the implementation of which it will not be possible to minimise the effects of drought.
B – VALIDITY OF CONSTRUCTING LARGE WATER RESERVOIRS – will their implementation actually contribute to counteracting the effects of drought?
Construction of the so-called of large reservoir retention is most often intended to fulfil the functions of flood protection, energy functions – i.e. hydropower, as well as the function of supplying people with drinking water or the function of a waterway. Drought, or more precisely, counteracting the effects of drought in the context of large reservoir retention, needs to be considered from the point of view of the scale of the threat of individual types of drought and the impact of the created retention on the vicinity of the reservoir from the point of view of shaping water resources. Water reservoirs, with their retention volume, have a beneficial effect on alleviating the course of the phenomenon of hydrological drought, contribute to slowing down the outflow, and thanks to the above, they often provide protection for water intakes operating in flowing waters. The DECP also indicated that the purposefulness of the construction is to be verified by implementing catalogue activity No 6 – Analysis of the possibility of increasing retention in catchments with the use of natural and artificial retention. The activity covers the development of analytical documents defining the needs and possibilities of shaping water resources for individual water catchments in the river basin areas in order to counteract the effects of drought by implementing measures increasing natural retention and measures in the field of small artificial retention, as an alternative or supplement to the planned reservoir retention. The activity should take into account environmental goals and planned investment tasks in a given planning cycle.
The discussed issue of undertaking investments, construction of retention reservoirs ‘next to the river’, as well as the above context of building a large reservoir retention on watercourses, requires considering the validity of implementing and assessing the impact of such a solution. When planning activities to counteract the effects of drought, each variant should be taken into account, including assessing whether it is possible and reasonable, in a given location, to build reservoirs by the beds.
C- What is the purpose of entering the CONSTRUCTION OF BARRAGES on the lists of investment tasks?
One of the reasons for the construction of the Lubiąż, Ścinawa and Siarzewo barrages is to counteract the effects of drought. In the case of Lubiąż and Ścinawa, water retention of 2 million m3 at each stage will be achieved, in the case of Siarzewo – 150 million m3. Their creation will contribute to:
- equalisation of water levels in rivers,
- restoration of groundwater resources in river valleys,
- reduction of the excessively draining nature of rivers,
- reduction of bottom erosion processes below the existing barrages,
- creation of the possibility to use irrigation systems for agricultural and forest land,
- reconstruction of riparian forests in riverbeds.
The applied design of low bars of barrages – the Jambor type bars – will minimise debris retention in the basin of the barrages. Proper management of the barrages will allow for cyclical cleaning of the bed in order to allow free debris movement. The planned barrages will be of the so-called ‘bed’ type, which will enable intensive water exchange in the river bed. Each of the barrages will have semi-natural fish ladders built, which will enable fish to migrate freely.
- Why is the Silver Stream Regulation in Elbląg included in the DECP?
Investment task No 18 entitled Silver Stream Regulation km 0+000 -12+167 the city of Elbląg consists of 3 elements, including the construction of 2 retention reservoirs (the upper reservoir and the lower reservoir located at the place where the Silver Stream flows into Kumiela). The task will therefore increase retention. It should be added, as noted in the DECP project, that the document and the obligation to draw it up stem from the provisions of the Water Law Act (Journal of Laws 2020, item 310 as amended) Article 184, which have been transposed from the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Each water management investment must be assessed in terms of its impact on the ability of achieving the environmental objectives, if such an impact is likely to occur, such a project must be assessed pursuant to Article 4.7 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). It should also be noted that the investments indicated in Attachment 1 constitute only a proposal for the construction or reconstruction of water facilities, resulting, for example, from other planning documents.
The way of considering comments and conclusions submitted to the DECP project during the six-month public consultations can be found at the following link: gospodarkamorska.bip.gov.pl.
- MAINTENANCE WORK – does the DECP address the issue of maintenance work during drought periods and if yes, how?
The example cited in one of the comments, i.e. that of the carried out maintenance work should be addressed with an explanation to catalogue action No 18. It aims to align maintenance work with the current situation, i.e. to postpone maintenance work deadlines due to the current hydrological drought. The schedule and rules to be developed under this catalogue action should be integrated into the update of water maintenance plans. At the same time, we point out that when planning maintenance work, the need to upgrade water drainage equipment towards its conversion to drainage and irrigation systems is taken into account.
With regard to the comment that neither the DECP project nor the Assessment refer to the scale and actual effects of maintenance work on the watercourses, it should be clarified that the planning document, which is the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan, has a statutory scope and powers. The document is not a scientific study, but a directional document on planning activities at various levels of administration and entities entitled to implement its provisions.
- The problem of agricultural irrigation using groundwater resources.
The DECP includes in its catalogue section activity No 10, which is aimed at farmers and informs how to carry out water-saving irrigation. In the very title of the activity there is an emphasis on water-saving solutions – construction and reconstruction of groundwater intakes for the purpose of agricultural irrigation and construction and reconstruction of water-saving irrigation systems using groundwater resources. A restriction to the application of this activity is the requirement to obtain a permit required by Water Law Act and an indication that due to the vulnerability of the first aquifer to drought, deeper aquifers are preferred.
- The problem of enforcing the implementation of the guidelines of the Code of Good Practice.
The Drought Effects Counteracting Plan and its catalogue activities, planned for implementation for the period between 2021 and 2027, contain a package of educational tasks including the development and promotion of a set of good practices aimed at rationalising water use in agriculture. The transfer of the DECP findings into the bodies responsible for preparation, implementation and subsequent monitoring is explicitly recorded in the document. Codes and sets of good practices, in this case in agriculture, are identified as a tool in the Water Framework Directive itself. Project financing mechanisms may also use indicators based on code guidelines, sets of good practices, e.g. at the stage of evaluating conclusions or determining project results on their basis.
- Are aspects of the actual restoration of continuity of Polish rivers considered in planning works? – i.e. how to build water facilities for increasing retention and elements of water status assessment, including HYDROMORPHOLOGICAL CONTINUITY of watercourses?
The Water Framework Directive and the Water Law Act transposing its findings require the establishment, monitoring and updating of water status and environmental objectives for uniform water bodies. One of the assessment elements is the verification of the hydromorphological continuity of the watercourses. Any investment work undertaken must take into account the achievement of environmental objectives, and in investment projects, e.g. of barrages, the construction of fish ladders must be planned.
- Did the DECP at least undergo a screening of its impact on Natura 2000 areas?
Pursuant to the applicable provisions of law, a strategic environmental impact assessment was carried out for the project of the Drought Effects Counteracting Plan. It included an assessment of the DECP’s impact on Natura 2000 areas. The impact of the planned investments on biodiversity and on the objectives and integrity of Natura 2000 areas was analysed.
The analysis of the tasks listed in Attachment 1 A provided indications of investments which are located outside the Natura 2000 protected areas and the indication that investments concerning the construction of barrages (Attachment 1A item 71, item 72) may have an impact on the objectives of Natura 2000 areas – SPA Łęgi Odrzańskie, SAC Łęgi Odrzańskie. A potential lack of a significant negative impact on the objectives of Natura 2000 areas was found in the case of all other investments whose location encompassed Natura 2000 areas. And for two investments (Attachment 1A item 61 and item 78) the possible impact on the objectives of Natura 2000 areas was indicated. Investments for which potential Impact on the objectives of Natura 2000 areas has been identified are currently in the process of obtaining a decision on environmental conditions. If the impact on protected areas is confirmed at this stage, it will be necessary to carry out environmental compensation to ensure cohesion and proper functioning of Natura 2000 areas.
The results of the impact assessment of the investment included in Attachment 1B of the DECP project, indicate:
- for all the assessed investments the potential lack/or a complete lack of impact on the ability
- of achieving the environmental objectives set for the uniform surface water bodies was indicated;
- for all the assessed investments no definite impact on the ability of achieving the environmental objectives set for the uniform surface water bodies was identified;
- for the investments encompassing protected areas, including Natura 2000 areas, protected landscape areas, landscape parks and a national park, the potential absence of a significant negative impact on the objectives of these areas was demonstrated;
- a significant part of the investment is located outside protected areas (166 tasks);
- no significant impact on other elements of the environment has been identified; a potential impact may occur at the stage of investment implementation (this impact will be local
- and limited to the duration of the work).
As part of the environmental impact assessment for the above mentioned investment activities, solutions aimed at preventing and limiting negative environmental impacts were indicated.
The results of the impact assessment of the investment included in Attachment 1C of the DECP project, indicate:
for 114 investments the potential impact on the ability of uniform surface water bodies to achieve environmental objectives was determined. These undertakings include mainly construction of water reservoirs;
- in case of 68 tasks, a potential lack of impact on the ability of the uniform surface water bodies to achieve environmental objectives was identified;
- for all the investments the potential lack of impact on the ability of the uniform surface water bodies to achieve the environmental objectives was determined.
Due to the nature of Attachment 1C and the lack of precise location for the majority of investments, when assessing the impact on protected areas – their occurrence was identified in a buffer of 10 km from the potential investment location. As a result of the analyses for 110 tasks, a potential impact on the objectives of Natura 2000 areas was found, including 104 tasks for which a potential impact on the ability to achieve environmental objectives by the uniform surface water bodies was found. Moreover, for 115 tasks, a potential impact on the objectives of protected areas (outside Natura 2000) was found, for which 109 investments were also found to have a potential impact on the ability of the uniform surface water bodies to achieve environmental objectives. A more comprehensive impact assessment will be carried out at the stage of obtaining a decision on environmental conditions and carrying out water law assessment, when the exact location of the investment and the scope of planned tasks will be known. At this stage, it will be possible to unequivocally determine whether the identified potential impact will actually occur.
The final version of the environmental impact assessment can be found at the link below: https://wody.gov.pl/nasze-dzialania/stop-suszy.
- DROUGHT and FLOOD – counteracting the effects of drought and managing flood risks – Can these two be combined?
Flood water retention – is it possible to retain flood waters in specially designed floodplains as waters forming an emergency water reservoir? The use of flood waters is a very unique case, especially sanitary restrictions and exceeding the quality parameters of these waters determine how to retain them, hence the most common solution is to create flood polders.
- Questions about the ECONOMIC VALIDITY OF PLANS AND ACTION PROGRAMMES IN THE CONTEXT OF CLIMATE CHANGE?
The economic results presented at the conference are the result of a cost-benefit analysis for the project of the Plan. The scope of the analysis included, for example, the agricultural sector, but also municipal services management, the energy sector, forestry and fish pond management. Climate change was the subject of very detailed analyses of changes in thermal and humidity parameters of the climate in two scenarios: RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Both analytical documents provided strong arguments for the implementation of adaptation measures (proactive) to counteract the effects of drought both for the reduction of the scale (including intensity) of drought occurrence and for measures aimed at reducing the level of economic losses caused by drought (agricultural, hydrological and hydrogeological).
- Questions about the so-called SPECIAL DROUGHT LAW
There were also questions about the so-called special drought law, but the minister responsible for water management is the authority competent to answer them, as he was responsible for preparing this law. Therefore, all questions concerning this subject should be send to him.
- Who should participate in the preparation of the DECP? – It would be good if hydrogeologists, hydrobiologists, ecohydrologists, naturalists and the Ministry of Climate and Environment, drainage specialists, and other -logists, not technicians – were to have an important say in the Stop Drought programme.
The Drought Effects Counteracting Plan was developed by a team of hydrologists, hydrogeologists, ecohydrologists, environmentalists, soil scientists, climatologists, including climate change experts, lawyers and economists. It should also be added that the DECP was prepared with the cooperation with a DECP Working Group, which gave opinions on the document and was composed of representatives of the Polish Waters, the Ministry of Water Management, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the State Research Institutes, such as: IMWM (Institute of Meteorology and Water Management), PGI (Polish Geological Institute), ISSPC (The Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation) and AAC in Brwinów (Agricultural Advisory Centre). In the course of the project implementation, the document was also discussed with, for example, the ARMA (Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture), the State Forests, Polish Energy Networks and the fish farmers’ community, partially taking into account their comments, and using the materials that were provided to us by the above-mentioned units. In accordance with the requirements of public participation in the preparation of planning documents, extensive public consultations were conducted and three national conferences were held, which contributed to the modification of the document in relation to the version that was submitted for consultation.
- ANY OTHER TOPICS?
Among the questions asked, there were also these relating to facilities that contribute to improving navigability on Polish rivers. However, we would like to point out that the subject of navigation and its development is not a component of the DECP project. We encourage you to contact the authority responsible for the development of inland navigation.
Apart from questions and comments, we have received a number of interesting initiatives and ways to counteract the effects of drought, which will be taken into account as part of further activities to counteract the effects of drought. Among them there are original solutions (even from the category of patented ideas) for increasing the recultivation of water reservoirs and rivers.