Today’s consultations on the topic of drought were opened by a press briefing with Marek Gróbarczyk, Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterway Transport, and Przemysław Daca, President of Polish Waters. Minister Marek Gróbarczyk highlighted that activities in the maritime economy prepared for this year are focused on fighting drought.
The Minister referred to meteorological data according to which the winter period has shortened by two weeks since 1950, whereas the summer period has become longer by 4 weeks due to high temperatures. Climate changes affect the occurrence of droughts.
Przemysław Daca, President of Polish Waters, informed those present that this year the Polish economy would increase expenses on counteracting the effects of drought. Polish Waters prepared nearly PLN 400 million on activities involving counteracting drought, including tasks regarding small retention. This year, Poland is launching a pilot Agricultural Irrigation Program, aiming to restore the two-way irrigation-drainage function of drainage facilities. The program is currently being introduced in the area of the Gryfice Basin Management, where – thanks to the implementation of appropriate solutions – it will provide irrigation to approx. 2,300 ha of agricultural land. Soon, the development of irrigation-drainage systems will begin in the Łódź voivodeship. The program is meant to be implemented across Poland in cooperation with local authorities and water companies in which farmers are associated. Polish Waters are also restoring the retention capacity of the existing reservoirs. Restoration works are currently being done in the Rzeszów Reservoir, Sulejów Reservoir, and soon also in the Jeziorsko Reservoir and Zemborzyce Reservoir. Planning works regarding the construction of new retention reservoirs are underway.
During the press briefing, President of Polish Waters also announced the launch of Stop Drought Now! 2020 website where everyone can find up-to-date information on droughts in Poland. The website was created thanks to the cooperation of Polish Waters with the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterway Transport, and the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – National Research Institute, provided as a subpage at www.stopsuszy.pl. http://stopsuszy.pl/stop_suszy_2020/