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Edward Pierzgalski

Abstract

Agriculture and environment are among others the most important priorities of the European Union. Agriculture is strongly influenced by the state of the environment, including water resources. In addition to many other policies, the EU water policy is crucial for the sustainable development of rural areas. Directives are the main tools for implementation of water policy. This article contains an overview of the directives on aspects of quality and quantity of water resources. Within the paper three most important agricultural areas of the Directive are characterized: the Water Framework Directive, the Floods Directive and the Nitrates Directive. Presented mandatory EU action aimed at their implementation and the problems associated with it. Current proposals for changes in the EU water policy are described.

Open access

Edward Pierzgalski and Jerzy Jeznach

Measures for soil water control in Poland

Polish water resources depend on precipitations, which are variable in time and space. In dry years the water balance is negative in central parts of Poland but sudden thaws and downfalls may result in periodical water excess and dangerous floods almost in the entire country. The retention capacity of artificial reservoirs in Poland permits to store only 6% of the average annual runoff, which is commonly considered insufficient. Another method to increase retention is soil water control. About fifty percent of soils in Poland consist of light and very light sandy soils with low water capacity. Loams and organogenic soils cover approximately 25% and 8.5% area of the country, respectively. Almost half of agricultural lands (48%) have relatively good water conditions, but the rest requires soil water control measures. An increase of the soil water content could be achieved by changes of soil properties, water table control and soil water management. Modernization and reconstruction of drainage and irrigation systems, which were built mainly in the period 1960-1980, is needed.

Open access

Edward Pierzgalski

Abstract

The article presents the reasons and goals of the new Water Act development, which was supposed to replace amended many times the 2001 Water Act. A new Water Act has been approved 1 July 2017. The main aim of new Water Act is an achievements the objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive and other EU directives related to water management. The most important change of new Water Act is the establishment of a new water management organization in Poland, for which since January 1, 2018 is responsible the State Water Enterprise Polish Waters. The second new fundamental change is the introduction of nine water management financial instruments. Water services fees are one of them. The mechanism for determining the amount of these fees was one of the most debatable problems when adopting this legislative document. The article also presents the voices criticizing the detailed introduced solutions, including changes in investment of water infrastructure and their maintenance in agriculture.