On January 11, Infrastructure Minister Dariusz Klimczak appointed Joanna Kopczynska as president of the State Water Management Company Wody Polskie, following yesterday’s dismissal of Krzysztof Woś from the post. This event opens another chapter in the history of water resources management in Poland. What’s next for Polish Water?
Joanna Kopczynska returns to Polish Waters
As communicated by the ministry, as of January 2021, Joanna Kopczyńska was working as Deputy Director for the National Service for Safety of Storied Structures at IMGW-PIB. Kopczyńska has a wealth of professional experience, including positions as chairwoman of the Polish Delegation to the Commission for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea (HELCOM), chairwoman of the International Commission for the Protection of the Oder River against Pollution, deputy director at the Department of Water Management and Inland Navigation at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Inland Navigation, director of the Department of Water Management at the Ministry of the Environment, and deputy to the President of Polish Waters for Water Environment Management. He is also a member of the Scientific Council of IMGW-PIB.
Who said goodbye to the position of chairman?
Krzysztof Woś took over as president of Polish Waters on August 31, 2022. Prior to that, he served as Deputy President of Polish Waters for Flood and Drought Protection since 2018. His career at Polish Waters was part of a longer career path pursued in connection with water. Woś is an inland waterway captain and has worked in the water management field for 35 years.
As Onet.pl reported this morning, Krzysztof Woś bid farewell to his employees via email:
Thanks to your immense commitment, it was possible to create an institution that responsibly and professionally undertook the tasks entrusted to it in the areas of flood and drought protection, sustainable water management, water services, and protection of residents from unjustified price increases for water and sewerage services,” Onet.pl quotes the portal as saying.
Environmental disaster on the Oder River
Krzysztof Woś replaced Przemyslaw Daca, who lost his position as chairman of the Polish Waters, due to the environmental disaster on the Oder River. At the time, the head of the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection, Michal Mistrzak, suffered a similar fate. Prime Minister Morawiecki announced the decisions on August 12, 2022, citing as the reason the services’ overly tardy response to the disaster on the Oder River. The event raised a number of doubts and mutual accusations about responsibility for the situation.
What’s next for Polish Water?
Wody Polskie was established in 2018, when it took over the receivables, liabilities, rights and obligations of the National Water Management Board. They also took over the entirety of water administration – regional water management boards, basin boards and water superintendents. In total, almost 400 units responsible for managing our country’s waters. At that time, some of the tasks for which local governments had previously been responsible were also centralized. After last year’s parliamentary elections, a number of media speculations appeared predicting the liquidation of the Polish Water Authority, although no such decision was made. Now that the chairman has been dismissed, this topic is sure to return. So will talk about expectations of fixing priorities for water in various areas of the Polish economy.
Photo source: gov.pl