Irrigation and drainage systems in Ukraine need to be modernized and therefore require leveraging significant investment. However, the current model of the water complex and the current industry legislation do not allow to achieve the set goals. Therefore, it is time to develop an appropriate legal framework for the reform and develop effective rules of the game for all participants.
This was discussed during an online meeting of the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Roman Abramovskyy with representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Among the key aspects of the reform is the separation of the water infrastructure management function. It must be carried out by a separate entity, which, under clearly regulated mechanisms, will be able to attract investments and to ensure efficient and quick implementation of infrastructure projects.
"Our goal is to make the industry attractive for investment and provide the maximum amount of agricultural land with irrigation facilities. At the same time, the State Water Resources Agency should preserve the main functions within its responsibility - flood protection, environmental, as well as the implementation of state policy in the field of management, use and restoration of surface water resources," said Roman Abramovsky.
According to Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Mykhailo Khorev, the current model of work of the State Water Resources Agency, unfortunately, does not allow to attract investment in any form. Investment in Ukraine's water sector is impossible until the situation is remedied at the institutional level.
There should be developed clear general rules of the game for all participants in such processes. The relevant draft law is currently being prepared and expert support is important for the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources in the elaboration of high-quality legislation and further practical implementation of the reform.
Representatives of the EBRD expressed their views, in particular on the need for parallel implementation of the institutional reform together with specific investment projects.
This is exactly the element that will guarantee its irreversibility and applied importance. EBRD experts already have relevant experience in implementing a pilot project to modernize the melioration system in Odesa region.
In order to determine the directions of cooperation in reforming the water resources management system in Ukraine and the coordination of actions, a decision was made to establish an appropriate interdepartmental working group.