On 9-10 June, Warsaw hosted two-day event - the Water Forum. Encouraged by the President of the National Water Management Authority, experts and practitioners in water resources management engaged in a debate on the most important natural resource in Poland – the water. During the conference that took place on the National Stadium in Warsaw, the participants discussed water management in Poland, issues connected with providing Polish citizens with continues access to water and protection against its excess.
Organized by the National Water Management Authority under the honorary patronage of the Minister of Environment, Maciej Grabowski, the National Water Forum 2015 focused on documents strategic for managing waters in Poland: update Water Management Plans (uWMP) and Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMP). On 9 and 10 June, the National Stadium offered everyone an opportunity to share views, ideas, discuss them and meet representatives of all groups responsible and interested in water management: governmental administration, local authorities, scientists and researchers, representatives of water sectors, entrepreneurs and NGOs.
Water-related issues concern everyone, though we don’t always realize that it is so. No water, no life – this is so obvious that we often forget about it. Without water, there is no life – this is so obvious that we often forget about it. As long as the water keeps coming from the tap, river or lakes are clean enough for us to swim and recreate, there is no discussion, said Maciej Grabowski. Therefore I would like to thank you for coming here to discuss how to manage this resource, which is becoming increasingly rare, so that every citizen in our country can access good, drinkable water and each industry has enough of it without harming the environment and the nature. It is also important to answer the question: What should be done to make everyone use it in the most economic and efficient way and how to ensure flood safety. This is the reason why strategic thinking about water management is so important, added the Minister.
Water resources management in our country is particularly important from the perspective of international cooperation. Effective water management and good status of waters is among the most important objectives of each EU member state. It has been confirmed by the Framework Water Directive 2000/60/EC (FWD) drawn up by the Council and the European Parliament, which determined achieving good status of waters as the main goal of all EU members.
Water Management Plans and Flood Risk Plans are an integral part of the long term strategy dedicated to managing water resources in Poland. According to the President of the NWMA, Witold Sumisławski, the new thinking about the water management requires strategic, well-thought and optimized approach.
Planning of the water management must naturally apply to all domains of life and to all industries. We must perceive the water as the most important resource and necessary element of our existence. There is no part of our life that could manage without it. Luckily, we can change our approach to the water management and for the first time, plan it in a modern and effective manner, says the President of the National Water Management Authority, Witold Sumisławski. Currently, we are working on the plans that are part of a long term and strategic water management. The importance of such approach to water has been confirmed by the public consultations of the uWMP and the FRMP. We are very satisfied with the involvement of Polish citizens and the institutions that represent them in the development of the water management and are happy to welcome everyone who would like to contribute to the debate and report comments, adds Sumisławski.
Consultations of draft update Water Management Plans and Flood Risk Management Plans constitute a particularly important public message in the debate that concerns documents identified as vital for Poland’s water management. You may still participate in the plans’ consultations – the uWMP and the FRMP – and join thousands of those who are already engaged. The process of public consultations will continue until 22 June 2015. The comments may be sent via forms published on www.konsultacjedlawody.pl and www.powodz.gov.pl.
Once the consultations are completed, all motions will be reviewed and the final versions of both documents will be approved by the Government of Poland.
Unlike other seminars addressed at experts, the National Water Forum focused on a broad debate on the water management engaging all groups, communities and stakeholders. The first meeting of the series was held in 2007.
The event was accompanied by a celebration of presenting Water Laure awards and evening stage performance of „Mayday” directed by Krystyna Janda in Och-Teatr in Warsaw.
Testa Communications is responsible for informational campaign and public consultations of the draft Flood Risk Management Plans, which included organizing several meetings and conferences.