Sustainable development of the lower Vistula
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Institute of Meteorology and Water Management National Research Institute
Wojciech Majewski   

Institute of Meteorology and Water Management National Research Institute, Podleśna str. 61, 01-673 Warsaw, Poland
Publication date: 2014-02-12
Meteorology Hydrology and Water Management, 1(1),33–38
The Vistula is thePoland's largest River. It flows from from the south to the north and has its mouth in the Baltic Sea. Hydrographically the Vistula is divided into three sections: the Upper Vistula from the source to San tributary, the Middle Vistula up to the Narew tributary, and the Lower Vistula till the outlet to the sea. The Lower Vistula 391 km in length. Along it there are several very important urban centers: Gdańsk with its harbor and container terminal, Elbląg with its harbor situated on the Vistula Lagoon, Tczew, Grudziądz, Włocławek, Płock and Warsaw, the capital of Poland. The Lower Vistula establishes part of the International Waterway E70 and E40 as it has important economic value and development potential. The Lower Vistula has important hydroenergy potential, is the source of water supply for people, industry and agriculture as well as being a very important ecological corridor. The whole length of the Lower Vistula, except Włocławek Reservoir is included into NATURA 2000 Program. The Włocławek hydraulic project lies along this section. It was commissioned in 1970 and has been the source of significant debate discussion between ecologists and water resources specialists. The Lower Vistula also benefits from scenic countryside and is popular for tourism and recreation. Along the Lower Vistula, a very important problem still exists in the form of flood hazard, mainly caused by ice phenomena and is also endangered by droughts. The paper begins with a short discussion about sustainable development. It then presents the current state of the management of the Lower Vistula and its catchment, economic potential and plans for development. Possibilitiesregarding the construction of future hydraulic projects are also discussed, including the benefits for energy production, navigation, water supply, tourism and recreation.