Institutional Evolution in Water Management in the Czech Republic and Poland
International Journal of Water Governance , Volume 2013 p. 307- 322
Concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) constitutes internationally recognized framework for water management. Its implementation faces difficulties though, and introduction of IWRM is country specific. In the paper the shifts in water resources governance in Czech Republic and Poland after 1989 are analyzed. It is investigated, taking the new institutional economics framework, which factors were responsible for water policy changes, with IWRM as the reference framework of the institutional reform, after 1989. For both countries there were two major, water resources management shifts, one connected with the collapse of communism (1989/1990), the second – the EU accession (2002). In both countries the general direction of water policy changes tend towards reduction of the direct state control. Similarities between the countries dominate, and the EU accession reinforced them. One similarity of the two countries is the reluctance of the water engineers towards the substance of the WFD. “Hydraulic mission”, aiming at harnessing the power of water dominates in both countries. Enforcement for IWRM comes mainly from outside the water sector. The Czech and Polish cases suggest that public participation is not the panacea for improving water management. The further development of IWRM in the Czech Republic and Poland is uncertain. Keywords: Integrated Water Resources Management, water management, Czech Republic, Poland, institutional change.