“Bottlenecks” on waterways to be removed

"Bottlenecks" on waterways to be removed

A meeting of the team of IWW E70 for work on the framework of cooperation with public administration related to the elimination of barriers, so-called ‘bottlenecks’, was held on 5 July 2022 in Toruń. Another important subject of the meeting was the undertaking of activities allowing collaboration between regions and with the central government for the revitalisation of the Polish section of IWW E70.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the framework of cooperation between regional and central governments in removing barriers, ‘bottlenecks’ on the Polish section of IWW E70, as well as to determine activities intended to regain navigability and economic use of waterways in Poland.

At the beginning, the purposes and intentions of the Declaration on Cooperation of five voivodeships for the development of inland waterway E70, signed on 1 June of this year, were presented. In the next part, previous activities of the Team and the conditions of particular sections of the waterway were presented.

During the discussion, a list of so-called ‘bottlenecks’ on the water connection Odra – Vistula – Vistula Lagoon was referred to, i.e. overgrowth of the riverbed and narrowing of the waterway by water plants, milled materials, shallows, damaged groynes, renovation of locks and bridges. Attention was drawn to coming challenges which should be of particular interest, i.e. climate change and the phenomenon of hydrological drought, regaining depth parameters on waterways and the functionality of hydro-technical facilities, their class of navigability, which are of key importance for the development of inland water transport and tourism.

Meanwhile, representatives of the central government and Regional Boards of Water Management from Gdańsk, Poznań and Bydgoszcz discussed implemented tasks related to the improvement of navigational conditions on waterways and plans for further activities.

Additionally, at the Ministry of Infrastructure, comprehensive and compatible programs for the development of inland waterways in Poland are being created. These have an operational-implementation nature and meet the goals determined in the mid-period national development strategy (Strategy for Responsible Development to the year 2020 (with a perspective to 2030), the national cohesion strategy and other documents. Implementation of these programs will allow the Polish Republic to fulfil the directives included in the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance (the so-called AGN agreement). Among the strategies currently elaborated by the department for developmental strategy, worth mentioning are the National Navigation Program to the year 2030, the Program for Development of the Oder Waterway and the Program for Development of the Vistula River Waterway.

The meeting participants stated that priority activities in the development of infrastructure for tourist boating are investments in already existing inland waterways. The increase in tourist activity and interest in the recreational use of waterways makes it necessary to quickly eliminate so-called ‘bottlenecks’ and maintain stable navigational conditions throughout the boating season. Therefore, it is important to undertake activities towards developing a management program for the Polish section of IWW E70.

During subsequent meetings of the IWW E70 Team, work connected to the planned removal of ‘bottlenecks’ as well as determining directions for infrastructural development of IWW E70 will be continued.


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