Component 3 - Flood Protection of the Upper Vistula

Component 3 intends to protect the Kraków and Nowa Huta conurbation and industrial area, the Sandomierz-Tarnobrzeg area, and selected towns on tributaries in the sub-basins of the San, Wisłoka, and Dunajec Rivers.

The investments include the following:

  • reconstruction and extension of dikes and embankments along the Vistula,
  • bank stabilization and strengthening with rip-rap and revetments;
  • construction of dry polders and overflow areas to increase upstream water retention,
  • river training interventions,
  • and adjustment of existing hydraulic structures (weirs and barrages) to pass larger flood waves.

The OVFMP also provides for additional technical support in the preparation of the River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) and the investment prioritization plan for the Upper Vistula, applying the integrated water resources management methods to planning complex investments with a large footprint.

The planned investments are included under the following Subcomponents, at the same time being the specific objectives of Component 3:

3.A – Protection of Upper Vistula Towns and Kraków

In order to achieve the effectiveness in protection of the Kraków conurbation, it is necessary to maintain the lowest possible high water levels within this city. This requires construction of appropriate flood defenses in the city and in the catchment areas of tributaries that feed into the Vistula as well as in the Vistula valley upstream of Kraków. This Subcomponent involves rehabilitation of the Vistula flood embankments in Kraków with a total length of 21 km in three sections. To provide flood protection for a part of Kraków and Wieliczka, it is also planned to construct four dry polders as part of the implementation of the component, including necessary activities to provide stabilization of the Serafa and Malinówka River channels which empty into the Vistula River, together with upgrade of existing dikes and construction of supplementary sections of the flood embankments.

3.B – Protection of Sandomierz and Tarnobrzeg

The Sandomierz Valley is an area of the Vistula confluence with several important tributaries, including the largest Carpathian tributary of the Vistula – the San River. The 2010 flood (the largest in the region’s history) caused flooding of a major part of the city of Sandomierz and large-scale flood damage. The implementation of this Subcomponent includes improvements to the flood embankment system of the Vistula River and its tributaries within the backwater extent, including necessary modernization of the system of pump stations protecting the area outside the embankment during high water discharges.

3.D - Passive and Active Protection in San basin

The existing flood control facilities do not provide full flood protection in the catchment area of the San and Wisłok Rivers and hence flood damage occurs there every year. Construction of dry polders is tentatively planned as a complement to the existing flood protection system. Apart from the dry polders, embankments are planned to be constructed on tributaries of the San River and on the San itself. High flood risk is also associated with the valleys of the Wisłoka River (e.g. in the vicinity of the cities of Dębica and Jasło) and the Dunajec River. In the catchment areas of these rivers, the following categories of works are mainly planned: construction and improvements of flood embankments, construction of dry polders (or overflow areas), and, on a smaller scale, river training works in the river valleys.

In the Upper Vistula area where the Project’s Component 3 is implemented, the investments will be carried out within the watercourses with various flow and catchment topography parameters. In the upper part of the Vistula River basin, the watercourses are of mountain and sub-mountain type, they flow through narrow valleys with a high velocity, and their beds consist of coarser materials such as boulders or gravel. In the vicinity of Kraków (the region’s capital), the Vistula enters a wider valley and is classified as a lowland river with sand-and-loam bed. Downstream of Kraków, in the vicinity of Sandomierz where the implementation of other project activities is planned to be carried out, the river valley becomes vast and the Vistula River is classified as a large lowland river.

In the stretch where the Vistula River is a lowland river, the wide river channel is accompanied by additional river structures, such as side arms, branches, oxbow lakes, and other structures of high biodiversity. In the region where the investments will be implemented, the watercourses have maintained their high natural qualities (many nature conservation areas with different protective measures have been established there).

Fundusze Europejskie
Rzeczpospolita Polska
Wody Polskie
Unia Europejska
World Bank