Poland plans to increase water retention to 20 percent
Poland aims to implement a programme aimed at increasing water retention to 20 percent, a deputy infrastructure minister has announced.
Marek Gróbarczyk made the announcement during the 2nd Water Congress in Wrocław, southwestern Poland on Monday.
The two-day event is devoted to the changes that have taken place in Poland in the field of water resources management and protection of aquatic ecosystems, as well as adaptation to current climate change.
Talking to reporters, Gróbarczyk said that the coming years will see "a fight for water."
"What is happening primarily in Western Europe clearly shows that we must implement our plan in the form of the 'Water for Poland' programme... which will cover all activities in the field of increasing retention to 20 percent on a large scale," he said.
Poland is currently able to retain less than 7 percent of average annual runoff, which is 4 billion cubic metres of water, whereas the European average is 15 percent, according to Krzysztof Woś, president of the State Water Holding Polskie Wody (Polish Waters) responsible for implementation of the 'Water for Poland' programme.
Among the required activities Gróbarczyk mentioned were the construction of some 400 large and small reservoirs to collect water as well as modernisation and building of around 50,000 kilometres of canals.
The main task of this system, he said, was to secure water for all areas, especially agricultural ones, as they were crucial in terms of production.
Woś said there were 120 reservoirs with a capacity of over 1 million cubic metres in Poland as compared to 1,200 in Spain where more than 30 percent of average annual water runoff was retained.
"Therefore we see what goal we should set ourselves to be able to ensure greater security and better availability of water for the natural environment, for the economy and for society," Woś said.