Institutional Evolution in Water Management in the Czech Republic and Poland


  • Piotr Kowalczak Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment | Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Piotr Maczak Institute of Sociology | Adam Mickiewicz University
  • Lena Slavikova Institute for Economic and Environmental Policy | University of Economics


Integrated Water Resources Management, water management, Czech Republic, Poland, institutional change


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


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How to Cite

Kowalczak, P. ., Maczak, P. ., & Slavikova, L. . (2013). Institutional Evolution in Water Management in the Czech Republic and Poland. International Journal of Water Governance, 1(3-4), 307–322. Retrieved from

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