The Odra River Basin Flood Protection Project (ORFPP) is implemented with the assistance of international financing institutions which provide not only funding but also technical expertise and support in the implementation of large hydraulic projects. On May 11, 2007 a Loan Agreement was signed between the Polish Government and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. A Loan Agreement was also signed with the Council of Europe Development Bank. These Agreements define the financing terms for the Odra River Basin Flood Protection Project as well as its main requirements and objectives. At that time, the cost of implementation of all Project works was estimated at about €505 million. However, this amount is still open, since the final value of the Project will only be determined after the final account for the investments has been prepared. Funding for the Project is provided by:
- the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (also called the World Bank);
- the Council of Europe Development Bank;
- the Cohesion Fund (Subcomponents A1, B1 i B2);
- the state budget.
The main objective of the Odra River Basin Flood Protection Project is to enhance flood protection for areas located in the Odra valley, from Racibórz downstream to Wrocław. This objective will be achieved by the construction of the Racibórz dry polder and improvements to the flood control structures and facilities of the Wrocław Floodway System designed to increase the flood carrying capacity of the Odra River channels through and around Wrocław. The Project will provide flood protection for the population living in Racibórz, Kędzierzyn-Koźle, Krapkowice, Opole, Brzeg, Oława and Wrocław as well as other towns and villages located in the Odra valley in three voivodeships (regions): Śląskie, Opolskie, and Dolnośląskie. The Odra River Basin Flood Protection Project comprises 4 components:
- Component A involves the construction of a dry polder in Racibórz. This dry polder is constructed over an area of 26 square kilometers and during flood events on the Odra River it will be able to store about 185 million cubic meters of water and thus reduce the flood peak. Two villages were located within the dry polder basin. Therefore, as part of this investment their residents were resettled, since otherwise it would be impossible to operate this dry polder.
- Component B of the Project involves the Modernization of the Wrocław Floodway System (WFS). Improvements to the system of the Odra channels and hydraulic structures located in the city of Wrocław and around will allow a flood wave with a flow rate of 3.100 m3/s to be safely conveyed through the city. In conjunction with the effect of the Racibórz dry polder, the WFS Modernization will provide protection against a flood comparable to that which occurred in 1997. It is estimated that during this flood the flow rate in the Odra upstream of Wrocław was about 3.700 m3/s.
- Component C of the Project is “Improving Flood Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Supervision of the Environmental Management Plan and the Resettlement Action Plan”.
- Component D “Project Management, Technical Assistance and Training”.
During the period 2002 – 2005, work on defining the Project was ongoing. A feasibility study, among others, was prepared. The first design works started. After negotiations, in 2007 the Government of the Republic of Poland signed with the international financiers agreements for the financing and implementation of the Odra River Basin Flood Protection Project. Over the period 2008 – 2009, an institutional structure was built, whereas during the period 2009 – 2012 the Project’s investments were prepared for implementation. During this period, applications for funding from the Cohesion Fund were also prepared. In 2012 most contracts were signed and the works started. A large part of them was completed by 2016. Due to the construction of the Racibórz reservoir, the date of completion of the World Bank loan agreement is currently set for June 30, 2020.
Institutional structure of the Project
A large investment project cannot be implemented without an institutional system responsible for the implementation of individual investments being part of such a project. The main responsibility for the implementation of the Project’s investments rests on the Implementing Agencies. Until the end of 2017 these were the Regional Water Management Authority (RZGW) in Wrocław, the Regional Water Management Authority in Gliwice, the Lower Silesian Board for Amelioration and Hydraulic Structures (DZMiUW) in Wrocław, the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB) in Warsaw, and also the Project Coordination Unit (PCU). Pursuant to the provisions of the Water Law Act of July 20, 2017, as of January 1, 2018 a state legal person (public sector entities) was established under the name of Państwowe Gospodarstwo Wodne Wody Polskie (State Water Holding “Polish Waters”). In performing the State Treasury’s tasks related to water management, the “Polish Waters” also takes over the tasks of the former President of the National Water Management Authority, the former Directors of the Regional Water Management Authorities, and the Voivodeship Marshals associated with the maintenance of water bodies and other State Treasury assets related to water management and water management investments. The State Water Holding “Polish Waters” also assumes the rights and obligations arising, among others, from any contracts and agreements relating to the maintenance of water bodies and the carrying out of water management investments which have been entered into by the Directors of the Regional Water Management Authorities as well as by the Voivodeship Marshals and the regional government agencies performing the Voivodeship Marshals’ tasks (the Boards for Amelioration and Hydraulic Structures). As a result, from 1 January 2018, the Project Implementing Agencies are within the SWH “Polish Waters”: SWH PW Regional Water Management Authority in Wrocław (continues tasks of RZGW Wrocław and DZMiUW) and SWH PW Regional Water Management Authority in Gliwice (continues tasks of RZGW in Gliwice). The IMGW-PIB as well as the OVFMP Project Coordination Unit in Wrocław (PCU) are still the Implementing Agencies. The PCU’s major task is to coordinate all Project activities, to support the Implementing Agencies, ongoing cooperation and correspondence with the World Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank and to monitor the progress and provide reporting.
To ensure close cooperation at the central administration level, the Project Steering Committee was established which includes the following members: the Ministers of the Interior and Administration, Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, Environment, Finance, Investment and Development, the President of Polish Waters, OVFM Project Director (PCU) as well as the Voivodes of Lower Silesia and Silesia. The Odra River Basin Flood Protection Project Steering Committee provides strategic guidance, advice and coordination of the Project activities at the highest levels of Government, including at the inter-ministerial level. It was established to review the overall implementation of the Project and solve any problems related to the Project’s implementation and financing.
The international financiers financing the Project are also actively involved in this institutional structure. The World Bank, with the participation of the Council of Europe Development Bank, regularly conducts review mission to evaluate the progress and level of the implementation of the Project. During such missions, the representatives of banks participate in meetings with the persons and institutions responsible for supervision, coordination and implementation of the Project, evaluates its progress and makes recommendations designed to streamline this entire process. The first mission was held in in the fourth quarter of 2008 and in the next years missions were conducted once or twice a year. The World Bank also monitors regularly the activities associated with the preparation and implementation of the individual investments carried out under the ORFPP and OVFMP. In accordance with the standards required by this institution, before specific decisions are made, such as the selection of a works contractor, the Bank gives opinion on the contract award and “no objection” to it.
Under the terms of the Loan Agreement, the Project must be audited once a year to ensure that the funds are spent appropriately and such an audit should be conducted by independent auditors according to standards acceptable to the World Bank. It is agreed in the Agreement that financial audit and audit of the Project progress will be conducted by the Polish Supreme Audit Institution (Najwyższa Izba Kontroli – NIK). The first such audit was carried out in 2009.
The Project’s institutional structure was set up between 2007 and 2009. This time was devoted, among others, to the establishment of dedicated organizational units at the Project Implementing Agencies which would be responsible exclusively for the implementation of the Project. During this period, the Implementing Agencies also selected and employed technical assistance consultants, that is, firms responsible for the preparation and supervision of individual investments.
Construction of the Racibórz dry polder
A concept for the construction of the Racibórz dry polder was developed already at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. A flood protection system for the Upper and Middle Odra basin was planned at that time in response to catastrophic floods. The following structures were then planned to be constructed: storage reservoirs, dry polders, flood relief channels, and dikes. The major works associated with the implementation of this concept were completed in the 1930’s. But the Racibórz dry polder was not built. The flood that occurred in 1997 showed that the existing flood defenses were insufficient. “The General Flood Protection Strategy for the Upper and Middle Odra Basin”, prepared by the company Hydroprojekt Wrocław, concluded that without the construction of the Racibórz dry polder one could not provide effective flood protection in the Odra valley from Racibórz downstream to Wrocław. Given the above, this investment became one of the more important elements of the “Program for the Odra River 2006” adopted by the Sejm (Polish Parliament).
The Odra section from the Krzyżanowice – Buków road bridge to the bifurcation of the river upstream of Racibórz was selected as the location for the dry polder. The polder basin is enclosed by the eastern slope of the river valley near the village of Brzezie along a length of 1.1 km. The dry polder joins the Buków polder under the road bridge in Krzyżanowice. The Racibórz dry polder will be enclosed by constructing the main dam and the right and left embankments. The shape of the dry polder is determined by the developed areas of the city of Racibórz and the existing technical infrastructure, in particular the Kędzierzyn Koźle – Chałupki railway line running along the left embankment of the dry polder and the railway line between Racibórz-Markowice and the village of Olza on the right bank of the polder. The basic parameters of the dry polder are as follows: dam crest level – 197.50 m a.s.l., maximum storage level – 195.20 m a.s.l., volume of water at the maximum storage level – about 185.0 million m3, maximum water surface area – 26.3 km2, total length of earth embankments – 21.8 km, maximum height of earth embankments – 11.1 m. To be able to fill this dry polder with water, it was necessary to resettle the residents of two villages located within the polder basin. Therefore, the construction of a new village where a part of the relocated residents will move is carried out concurrently to the construction of the dry polder. Great importance was attached to the requirement that their standards of living may not deteriorate due to this relocation.
RZGW Gliwice commissioned the preparation of design documentation already in 2004. A construction design was ready in 2005. But it was only in 2007 that financing for this investment project could be secured due to the signing of the Loan Agreements with the World Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank. In 2010 RZGW Gliwice commissioned an update of this design documentation and the preparation of a construction permit application. The procurement process also started to select a works contractor. On November 26, 2012 the Silesian Voivode issued a construction permit which became final on January 12, 2013. After the completion of the contractor selection process, on June 18, 2013 the contract was signed with the company Dragados S.A., on July 16 the Contractor was given possession of the site, and on July 22 the first works commenced. The works progress was not satisfactory. Contractor repeatedly reported technical problems which, in his opinion, did not allow progress according to the planned schedule and contract prices. On October 14, 2016 RZGW Gliwice notified the company Dragados S.A. of the termination of the contract for reasons attributable to the Contractor. Throughout 2017, after leaving the construction site by the previous contractor, works were carried out to secure the construction site and related to ground strengthening or demolition of buildings in the area of the future reservoir, abandoned by existing residents. On November 30, 2017, after the tender procedure, RZGW GL signed a contract to complete the construction of the Racibórz dry reservoir with Joint Venture of Budimex S.A. and Ferrovial Agroman S.A. On December 19, 2017 the site and the Site Manager’s duties were handed over to this Contractor. The works are planned to be completed in the begining of 2020.
The Wrocław Floodway System (WFS) is Poland’s largest system of waterways and hydraulic structures, and one of the largest in Europe, located within the area of one urban conurbation. It starts on km 241.5 of the Odra River near the village of Blizanowice and ends at the Widawa River mouth on km 266.9. This system consists of a network of channels, distributaries and branches of the Odra River which are densely built with flood control, navigation and industrial structures and facilities. Within its area, the mouths of the following rivers are also situated: Oława, Ślęza, Bystrzyca and Widawa Rivers. The technical solution for the Wrocław Floodway System, as it is currently used, was designed and implemented after the 1903 flood. At that time, an assumption was made that the hydraulic capacity of 2.400 m3/s would be sufficient. As a result of the deterioration of this infrastructure, the system’s flood carrying capacity decreased. Before its next modernization, the Wrocław Floodway System’s capacity was estimated at 2.200 m3/s. During the last large flood wave, which occurred in May 2010, the maximum rate of flow through Wrocław was about 2.100 m3/s. At that time, the WFS system operated at the limit of its capacity.
Until December 31, 2017 two Implementing Agencies, the Regional Water Management Authority (RZGW) in Wrocław and the Lower Silesian Board for Amelioration and Hydraulic Structures (DZMiUW) in Wrocław, were responsible for the modernization of the Wrocław Floodway System. From January 1, 2018, the SWH PW Regional Water Management Authority in Wrocław is responsible for these tasks. The works implemented as part of the WFS Modernization were divided into three subcomponents:
The B1-1 Contract related to improvements to the Blizanowice – Trestno embankments. DZMiUW signed the contract with the Contractor on April 17, 2012. On July 9, 2012 the company Energopol Szczecin started the works and completed them on December 16, 2013.
The B1-2 Contract involved improvements to the Kotowice – Siedlce embankments. These works included the Kotowice – Siedlce embankment, the Radwanice – Siechnice embankment, including the relocation of the Zielona River channel, and the Siechnice embankment. DZMiUW signed the contract with the Contractor on August 31, 2012. On November 28, 2012 the company Skanska S.A. started the works and they were completed in December 2014.
The B1-3 Contract involved “Construction and improvements of other embankments upstream of Wrocław”. This contract included the Opatowice embankment, Nowy Dom embankment, Janowice embankment, Jeszkowice embankment, Kamieniec Wrocławski – Wojnów embankment, and the embankment in Międzyrzecka St. DZMiUW signed the contract with the Contractor on November 28, 2012. On January 29, 2013 the Joint Venture of the companies Budimex S.A. and Ferrovial Agroman S.A. started the works and they were completed in December 2014.
The B1-11 Contract, involved “Construction and improvements of other embankments downstream of Wrocław” and included the Różanka embankment, Rędzin embankment, Lesica embankment, Szczepin embankment, Kozanów embankment, Maślice embankment, Pracze Odrzańskie embankment, and Janówek embankment. DZMiUW signed the contract with the Contractor on October 26, 2012. On December 11, 2012 the company SKANSKA S.A. started the works and they were completed in December 2014.
Contract B2-3.1. “Improvements to the Flood Channel and the Old Odra and increasing their hydraulic capacity from the downstream side of the Psie Pole weir to the Poznańskie railway bridgess”. On August 1, 2012 RZGW Wrocław signed the contract with the Joint Venture of the companies ENERGOPOL-SZCZECIN S.A. (Leader) and JSC Euro-Asian Construction Corporation “EVRASCON” (Partner). The works under this contract were completed on June 30, 2015. This contract included Tasks Nos. 1 and 4.
Task No. 1: “Improvements to the Flood Channel and increasing its hydraulic capacity in the section from the Bartoszowice weir to the Old Odra confluence”. These works resulted in increasing the hydraulic capacity of the Channel as well as of the Chrobry and Jagieloński Bridges by 11%. After the completion of these improvements, the carrying capacity of the Flood Channel is about 1025 m3/s.
Task No. 4: “Increasing the hydraulic capacity of the Old Odra from the Psie Pole weir downstream to the Poznańskie railway bridges”. The completed works were designed to increase the carrying capacity of the Old Odra channel by 23% as well as to increase the hydraulic capacity of the Warszawski railway and road bridges, the Trzebnicki and Osobowicki Bridges as well as the Poznański railway bridge. As part of these works, the Contractor also carried out the expansion of the Różanka weir, which involved the construction of the fourth bay, rehabilitation of the Różanka lock, and the (re)construction of three fish ladders: at the Szczytniki, Psie Pole and Różanka weirs. After the completion of these improvements, the carrying capacity of the Old Odra channel is about 1736 m3/s.
Contract B2-3.2. “Dredging and expansion of Wrocław Floodway System (WFS) channels and improvement of the hydraulic condition at the Rędzin barrage for flood water conveyance”. On October 24, 2012 RZGW Wrocław signed the contract with the company Sinohydro Corporation Limited of China. The Contractor started the works at the end of June 2013. The works under this contract were completed in 2016. This contract included Tasks Nos. 5, 6, and 7.
Task No. 5: “Increasing the City Channel capacity for flood water conveyance” involved the construction of bank revetments, upgrade of the flood gate, construction of a new inlet structure, and improvements to the existing City Lock. Increasing the City Channel capacity for flood water conveyance through Wrocław will allow an additional carrying capacity of about 170 m3/s to be obtained. Thus far, the City Channel has not been used for the conveyance of flood waves through Wrocław.
Task No. 6: “Increasing the Odra channel capacity from the Poznańskie railway bridges to the Widawa River confluence” was designed to increase the carrying capacity of the river channel by 25%. The major works involved the expansion of the river channel and dredging of the riverbed as well as the construction of new bank revetments. After the completion of these works, the design carrying capacity increased to 2710 m3/s.
Task No. 7: “Improvement of the hydraulic condition at the Rędzin barrage for flood water conveyance”. Rehabilitation of two locks and the construction of a fish ladder at the Rędzin lock were carried out. As a result of these works, an additional carrying capacity of about 360 m3/s was obtained.
Contract B2-2.1. “Improvements to Odra Śródmiejska retaining walls”. On August 31, 2012 the contract was signed with the Joint Venture of the companies POLAQUA Sp. z o. o. (Leader) and DRAGADOS S.A. (Partner). Following the completion of design documentation, in September 2013 the Contractor started the works and they were completed in 2015. The works were carried out in 4 sections of the retaining walls: section A from the Grunwaldzki Bridge to the Tumski and Piaskowy Bridges; section B from the Tumski and Piaskowy Bridges to the Uniwersytecki Bridge, section from C the Uniwersytecki Bridge to the Dmowskiego Bridge on the South Odra and the Mieszczańskie Bridges on the North Odra, and section D from the Dmowskiego and Mieszczańskie Bridges to the Old Odra confluence. Rehabilitation of the retaining walls increased the carrying capacity of this stretch of the Odra River by 25%, while the final design capacity of the Odra Śródmiejska increased to about 976 m3/s.
Contract B2-4.2. “Other Wrocław Floodway System hydraulic structures”. This involved the reconstruction of the weir at the Wrocław 1 hydropower plant. The existing fixed weir close to the Pomorski Bridge (southern) was replaced with a flap gate weir with the elevation of the weir crest lowered by more than 3 m. This allows the hydraulic capacity of the weir to be increased during periods of high water levels. Moreover, a fish ladder was constructed as part of this investment. The design hydraulic capacity of the new weir is about 629 m3/s, thus 46% more than that of the old weir. On September 19, 2012 RZGW Wrocław signed the contract with the Joint Venture of the companies Hydrobudowa Gdańsk S.A. (Leader) and Zakladani Staveb (Partner). From 2015, the company Zakladani Staveb carried out the works on its own. The works under this contract were completed in October 2015.
The construction of the Odra – Widawa relief channel was divided into two contracts: B3-1 and B3-2. The first one includes the section from the Odra-Widawa weir to the railway bridge in Krzywoustego St., while the other one the Widawa River section from the railway bridge in Krzywoustego St. to the confluence with the Odra River. In total, under these two contracts the works were carried out on as many as 37 structures of different types. On September 23, 2014 the contract was signed with the company SKANSKA S.A (B3-1) as well as the contract with the company Mota Engil Central Europe S.A. (B3-2) for the Widawa-related works. In May, 2018 SKANSKA S.A. completed the major civil works on the hydraulic structures (flood embankments, the flap gate weir). The works under contract B3-2 were completed in September, 2018.