Implementation of this Programme builds upon the need to continuous seeking for optimum solutions and reconciliation of various views aimed at clear definition of the role the Vistula River and its tributaries. The period assumed, i.e. by 2020, has been recognised as that required to achieve the equilibrium status of and putting in order the management of the river basin, given the need to remedy a huge bulk of the arrears occurred there so far.
Preparation of the „Programme for the Vistula River and Its Catchment Area by 2020” emerged as an initiative undertaken by the Non-Governmental Organisations, the statutory activity profile of which concerns the protection of the Vistula River. In April 1998, the Cooperation Declaration on the Vistula River and Its Catchment Area (the “Warsaw Declaration”) was signed at the Warsaw Town Hall. The Signatories were: Marine and Riverine League, in Gdansk; Society of Engineers and Technicians of Hydrotechnics and Land Reclamation in Poland, Warsaw; Association of the Vistula Riparian Towns, in Torun: Regional Board of the Vistula Riparian Pomerania, in Grudziądz; Foundation of the Lower Vistula River Cascade, in Włocławek; and the „WISŁA” Vistula River Association, in Warsaw.
On their meeting held in April 1999 the Signatories of the “Warsaw Declaration” adopted a memorial addressed to the Prime Minister and to the Speakers of the Parliament and Senate of the Republic on Poland, on the further management methods of the Vistula River. The idea of the memorial was to raise concern of the Vistula River riparian towns and municipalities about the future of the river which has to be the source of their development. The memorial concluded with message calling for approval of the „Programme for the Vistula River” as a constituent part of the Strategy for Economic Development of Poland.
On 2 January 2000, upon initiative launched by the Association of the Vistula Riparian Towns, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Programme for the Vistula River and Its Catchment Area for 2000 – 2020 was signed in Torun. The Signatories of Memorandum were: Minister of the Environment, Head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery, the Voivodes, Speakers of the Voivodship Parliaments, and the NGOs representatives, including: Marine and Riverine League, the „WISŁA” Vistula River Association, Foundation of the Lower Vistula River Cascade, Society of Engineers and Technicians of Hydrotechnics and Land Reclamation, Council of Water Engineering and Management Institute of the Cracow University of Technology, and Association of the Vistula Riparian Towns. The latter organisation established Bureau of the Programme for the Vistula River and Its Catchment Area that took over the initiative to develop the Programme.
The Prime Minister, by Regulation dated 20 June 2002 on the specific activity profile of Minister of the Environment, entrusted to the Minister the responsibilities to manage tasks relating to the „Vistula 2020 Programme”. During conference held in Torun on 14 June 2003, the Bureau of the Programme for the Vistula River and Its Catchment Area submitted preliminary Draft Proposal of the Programme, and consequently, the final version the „Investment Programme for Vistula 2020”was on 31 August 2004 forwarded to Minister of the Environment. Currently, this version undergoes updating.
The National Water Management Authority (KZGW) undertook for updating of the „Programme”. The Project Team including five representatives of the KZGW and the Regional Water Management Boards (RZGWs) administering the Vistula River basin has been appointed to this end. The Project Team reports to the Programme Board which is responsible for overall Programme activities. The Board held its inaugural meeting on January 16 2007.
The Programme Board includes: