The Water Law Act dated 20 July 2017 was published in the Polish Journal of Laws on 23 August 2017.
The Act will replace the current Water Law Act and largely enter into force on 1 January 2018.
The most important change is a general introduction of fees (fixed and variable) for water services (e.g. intake of groundwater or surface water, discharge of sewage or of water into water or into the ground). The Council of Ministers shall issue secondary legislation under the Act regulating the unit rates for water service fees, both fixed and variable.
The Act also regulates the necessity to adjust the existing water permits to the new legal framework.
There will be a number of changes to the water management system, including a new administrative authority - Państwowe Gospodarstwo Wodne „Wody Polskie”- which will handle matters covered by the Act. Moreover, the relevant authorities of „Wody Polskie” will be competent for the issuance of water permits.
There will be a new administrative measure called a water consent, which covers issuance of a water permit, acceptance of a water law notification, issuance of a water assessment and other decisions governed by the Act.