It’s an important milestone after eight years of NWP’s efforts on behalf of the Dutch Government’s Partners for Water Programme and the Dutch consortium partners.
Polish-Dutch River Warta Partnership
Facilitated by NWP, the Polish-Dutch River Warta Partnership was established in 2011. With funding from the Partners for Water Programme, KuiperCompagnons and Royal HaskoningDHV drew up an integrated development strategy.
Wouter Vos of consortium partner KuiperCompagnons: “Many Polish cities, including Poznan, have become disconnected from their rivers. With increasing prosperity, the Poznan authorities want to reconnect the city to the Warta River. This entails developing a 2,000 hectare stretch of desolate land and 20 kilometres of river. The Poznan conurbation is home to around 1.5 million people, the equivalent of redeveloping the Rotterdam conurbation along the River Meuse. Two challenges for the development are the heavier rainfall caused by climate change and the river’s depth range of between a trickle and nine metres.”
A development like this can take years as authorities have to set up relevant institutional and organisational frameworks. Where relevant, NWP and the consortium partners shared advice and knowledge over the years.
Polish-Dutch River Warta Partnership is an important step for Dutch-Polish cooperation on river development
“We still have a long road ahead. The project itself is fantastic and the prospects are good. It is these prospects that keep us going.” Wouter Vos, KuiperCompagnons
MoU and attracting investors
In June 2017, NWP and the municipal authorities in Poznan signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating the intention to create a development plan and investment strategy. Paving the way, so to speak, for the consortium partners and the broader Dutch water sector. The next step was to produce a detailed business plan to attract investors for the implementation phase.
Wouter Vos: “After two meetings with Dutch water sector representatives in London and Warsaw in 2018, the EBRD is now considering co-financing the River Warta Development project. The fact that the EBRD considers the project to be a promising investment offers wonderful prospects.”