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Edward Pierzgalski


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.

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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.