National Id
Forest ecosystems in Poland have long suffered from drought. From the mid-90s, the Polish forest management authority undertook a variety of small-scale water retention works, financed from a combination of its own and external funds (i.e. the Polish Ecofund, and the Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management). In 2006, the authority consolidated all its initiatives into a single project ‘Increasing retention and preventing floods and droughts in forest ecosystems in lowland.’ It is the first to be conducted on such a large scale, combining water retention in forest ecosystems with the protection against surface water run-off. The project is funded by EU Cohesion Fund, 2007-2013.
Light or indepth?
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study
Climate zone
cool temperate dry
Case Study Info
Application scale
Installation date
Performance timescale
> 20 years
Area (ha)
Contractural arrangements
Design contractual arrangement
Arrangement type Responsibility Role Comments Name
Agreement between between the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Economy and the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry of Poland on cooperation in the field of the development of small water retention
Design consultation activity
Activity stage Key issues Name Comments
Design land use change
Land use change type
Design authority
Authority type Role Responsibility Name Comments
The State Forests – National Forests Holding General Directorate of the State Forests
Coordinating the implementation of the programme
17 Regional Directorates of the State Forests
Determination of design details of the measure
178 Forest Districts
National water authority
Initiation of the measure
Ministry of the Environment
In charge fo the programme
Key lessons
The programme will be accomplished by 31 December 2014.
Success factor(s)
Success factor type Success factor role Comments
Financing type Comments
Barrier type Barrier role Comments
Legal obligations / restrictions
main barrier
Every object requires an development consent, however most of them needs environmental impact assessment.
Driver type Driver role Comments
Balancing different objectives
main driver
necesity to improve water amangement in forest lowlands
Availability of subsidies
main driver
Cohesion Fund in frames of Operational Programme, 2007-2014
Financing share
Financing share type Share Comments
Policy description
The seasonal climate variation including higher spring precipitation and summer dry periods combined with a long lasting drainage have led to excessive drought occurring in forest ecosystems. In response to water management needs, the State Forests since the mid-90’s have been undertaking small scale water retention works. Small scale retention actions have been financed from own and external funds (i.e. Ecofund, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management).
Part of wider plan
Policy target
Target purpose
Increase Water Storage
Groundwater Recharge
Runoff control
Policy pressure
Pressure directive Relevant pressure
Policy area
Policy area type Policy area focus Name Comments
Policy impact
Impact directive Relevant impact
Policy wider plan
Wider plan type Wider plan focus Name Comments
Policy requirement directive
Requirement directive Specification
Costs total
Costs total information
approx. 50 million EUR (ca. 34,2 million EUR co-financed by Cohesion Fund)
Ecosystem improved biodiversity
Information on Ecosystem improved biodiversity
providing habitat for typical wetland flora species: Iris sibirica; Cypripedium calceolus; Eriphorum vaginatum; Oxycoccus palustris; Nymphaea alba; Nymphaea candida
providing habitat for typical wetland fauna species: Hyla arborea; Emys orbicularis; Salamandra salamandra; Castor fiber; Lyrurus tetrix
Increased landscape storage capacity
Increased landscape storage capacity unit
Information on Increased landscape storage capacity
increased water storage from the present 8 380 253 m3 (2007) to approx. 31 million m3 (in 2014)