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Public opinion survey as a form of public participation in the implementation of water framework directive: Case study - Leskovac field irrigation

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Author(s): Trajković Slaviša | Kolaković Srđan | Ignjatović Marija

Journal: Facta Universitatis - series : Architecture and Civil Engineering
ISSN 0354-4605

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 173;
Date: 2005;
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ABSTRACT
The adoption of the Water Framework Directive is a turning point in the development of European water resources management. For the first time in the history of Europe, a uniform strategy for environment protection and water resources management was created. According to the proclaimed policy of the European Union, the Water Framework Directive pays a careful attention to the public participation in the issues concerning the water resources development. The paper gives a short presentation of the public participation in the Water Framework Directive and complementary EU directives. The right question that becomes an issue in the countries in transition is, how much the public, including the users of waters, is willing to actively participate in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. In an attempt to obtain the answer to this question, the Regional Center for Sustainable Development and Ecology of Niš, conducted a survey of the public opinion (users of waters) about the irrigation of the Leskovac field. The public opinion survey that was conducted in the Leskovac municipality shows that a great majority of farmers comprehends the great importance of irrigation, but a negligible part of the respondents accepts the fact that the construction of the system inevitably brings about the changes in crop structure irrigation methods and water price. The obtained answers show how much the public participation, including the users of waters, is significant for the decision making in water resources management. The first task in the application of the Water Framework Directive is informing the widest possible public with the need to rationally use and protect the water resources. When the public is better acquainted with the water resources issues, it will be capable to assist in their solution.
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