Water Resources (Wody Polskie) is a governmental body established in 2018 and affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Its responsibilities include regulating water and sewage tariffs. The Association of Polish Cities (ZMP) points to non-compliance with the provisions of Article 24 of the Act of June 7, 2001 on collective water supply and collective sewage discharge, regarding criteria for determining water and sewage tariffs, as well as the procedure and deadlines for considering applications.
Where does the problem lie?
Until recently, the responsibilities were on the side of the municipalities, which appropriately reacted to the increase in costs of supplying residents with water. The restoration of this state is intended to allow for adjustments similar to those in the case of heating prices. According to ZMP, PGW Wody Polskie does not react sufficiently in situations of mass water supply crises and sewage management.
Meeting of the Association of Polish Cities in Sopot
The Association of Polish Cities organized a meeting in Sopot focused on this topic, resulting in a position demanding the restoration of the previous order when municipal councils served as regulators. This aims, among other things, to protect against the real threat of interruption in the continuity of water supply between localities. The issue also involves maintaining the operational continuity of businesses dependent on water access. It is also said that this would be a significant problem in the case of modernization and the use of EU funds.
Alternative solution to the problem
As an alternative solution suggested by local government officials, the government could introduce the possibility of adjustment in extraordinary situations through a amendment to the Act on collective water supply and collective sewage discharge. In such a case, it would work on a similar basis as the Energy Law for heating prices. Another change suggested by the Association of Polish Cities is to assign the regulating body the obligation to provide a written justification along with a suitable analysis and verification in case of denial of tariff matters.