Public consultations on the environmental impact assessment of the drought effects counteracting plan (DECP) are in progress until 24 June. Out of concern for our health, the consultation meetings on 2, 9 and 16 June are conducted on-line. Over 300 investments planned under the DECP project have been subjected to strategic assessment. All interested persons may take part in the consultation and make comments and proposals.
In the whole process carried out by the National Water Management Authority, the most important thing is to determine the scope of interference in the natural environment of the planned investment projects, as well as their positive effects, especially during a period of prolonged drought. The assessment concerns both the direct and indirect risks that projects may cause and the methods of reducing their impact as well as the alternative measures that may be used.
Social verification is particularly important when the list of investments under the Stop Drought! project has over 300 items. Most of them are small local projects, crucial for the micro-community or local agriculture, but at the same time very important in counteracting the effects of drought on the national scale.
The environmental impact assessment is a tool used not only to assess the investments. The catalogued activities, including formal and educational ones planned under the DECP project, will also be analysed. Each participant in the consultation will be able to express his or her views during the discussion and to submit proposals, such as through an on-line form available at www.stopsuszy.pl. After an analysis of all the comments and proposals, a discrepancy table will be published on the project website.
Due to the restrictions associated with the announced state of epidemic, the consultation meetings will be held on-line on the Zoom platform on 2, 9 and 16 June. Registration for the meetings is in progress at www.stopsuszy.plHEREOpens in a new window
A summary of the entire Stop Drought! project is planned for the autumn during the national Stop Drought! conference. A final touch will be the adoption of the DECP project by way of a regulation of the Minister of Water Management at the end of 2020. The DECP document, the most important result of the Stop Drought! project, together with water management plans and flood risk management plans, will contribute to the improvement of water management in Poland. At that point, Poland will be at the forefront of European countries that have developed plans to counteract the effects of drought. Similar projects have already been implemented by such countries as the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and Ukraine.
The President of the National Water Management Authority is obliged to prepare the drought effects counteracting plan under the provisions of Art. 240(2) (8) of the Act of 20 July 2017 – Water Law (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 310). So far, as part of the Stop Drought! project, a DECP preparation methodology, which will also be used in the future, has been created, and a survey of 3,500 entities related to water management conducted. In addition, the draft plan of the project was presented at national expert conferences, six-month public consultation and the “Remember about water!” social campaign. All works are financed via European funds (OPI&E 2014-2020).