Notification of works to the RDOŚ vs. water permit

Zgłoszenie prac do RDOŚ

When a notification may be rebuked by the water permit issuing authority

Newly introduced obligation to attach confirmation to the water supply operation effective notification referred to in Art. 118(1) of the Act of April 16, 2004. on nature protection, raises many questions and doubts. The obligation went into effect on November 10, 2022. In connection with the amendment of the law. We will try to briefly explain what activities require notification before obtaining a water permit.

The Law on Nature Protection indicates that notification to the RDOŚ (Regional Director of Environmental Protection) is required for activities involving earthworks that may change water or water-soil conditions.

Such activities require notification if they are carried out on:

  • In the areas of forms of nature protection – all those listed in the Law on Nature Protection with the exception of nature monuments;
  • In protective precincts designated under the Law of April 18, 1985. On inland fisheries;
  • But also within natural watercourses.

While we all know about the necessity of notifying the RDOŚ of works carried out in a NATURA 2000 area or in a national or landscape park, investors often do not remember about the obligation to notify the RDOŚ of earthworks that may change water or water-soil conditions, carried out within natural watercourses.

In the context of obtaining a water permit, works that may alter water or water-soil conditions carried out within natural watercourses will include, for example:

  • Works related to the construction, reconstruction, decommissioning of bridges;
  • Strengthening of watercourses in connection with the linear investment;
  • Construction and reinforcement of outlets and culverts, especially when equipment is planned to enter the riverbed;
  • Construction of water facilities, including, for example, damming structures;
  • change in landforms on land adjacent to the waters, affecting flow conditions.

In addition, notification will always require the extraction of stones, gravel, sand and other materials from the waters.

Notification must be made before obtaining a water permit. It is effective if the regional director of environmental protection does not object within 30 days of the application. It is also necessary to plan a timetable for obtaining subsequent decisions, since activities for which no objection to the application has been obtained can be started no later than 2 years after the date specified in the application for their commencement.


The decision on the lack of need for a report for projects that may potentially have a significant impact on the environment does not replace the notification under Art. 118 of the Law on Nature Protection.

On the other hand, the notification is unnecessary only in the case of activities planned for implementation within the framework of projects for which an environmental impact assessment has been carried out (a report has been prepared and a decision on environmental conditions has been obtained).

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