Institutional threats

Janusz Kindler, Jerzy Iwanicki, Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Piotr Matczak, Rafał Miłaszewski, Jan Żelazo

Abstract


There are institutional threats connected with water resources management in Poland. Our present institutional system in that area is exceptionally unfunctional, both in the sense of managing public assets and in the decision making processes. The basic threats are obsolete understanding of the ”water management” concept, anachronic interpretation of purposes and objectives of water management, several incorrect statements in the Water Law and poorly executed management functions – first of all poor planning, insufficient financing and inadequate control of water users. These threats can be avoided by fairly fundamental policy changes only. Introduction of legal regulations resulting from the complete transposition of the EU law is also one of the basic requirements. Effective water resources management system requires a relatively small changes in the institutional structure, better definition of basic competences, and detailed allocation of tasks together with their indispensable financing. The following scheme of water resources management in Poland is proposed: the role and responsibilities of the Minister responsible for water management in the country (currently the Minister of Environment) remains generally the same as today. Below, the three-level institutional structure is proposed: in national scale – the National Water Management Board, in regional scale – the Regional Water Management Boards, and in the catchment scale – the Catchment Water Management Boards. The only serious change is reconstruction of the current 16 Voivodship Boards of Rural Melioration and Water Management Measures (together with their branches and field inspectorates) into Catchment Water Management Boards. The growing deficit of professional staff for the new water management organizations is considered. That deficit is especially acute in the institutions responsible for real-time water resources management as well as for programming and planning water investments – it is a serious impediment in the process of implementation of the EU Water Framework and Flood directives. The difficult access to the hydrological data gathered by the state hydro-meteorological services is also one of the current problems. Free access to these data would be of great value for the society.


Keywords


water; river basin; institutions; management; European Union; cadres; access to information

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