Water legislation

WATER LEGISLATION (EN: water legislation; DE: Wasserrecht, Gesetzgebung uber die Gewassernutzung; FR: legislation hydraulique; ES: legislacion acuatica; RU: водное законодательство) is the totality of the juridical norms, which are regulating the social relations for the usage and protection of the waters.

The purposes of the water legislation within the USSR are: the ensuring of the rational usage of the waters for the needs of the population and of the water economy; the protection of the waters against the pollution, clogging, and depletion; the prevention and elimination of the harmful impact of the waters; the improvement of the status of the water facilities, and also the protection of the rights of the enterprises, organizations, institutions, and citizens, the strengthening of the legitimacy within the field of the water relations. The major acts of the water legislation are the Foundations of the water legislation of the USSR and of the Union republics, and the Water Codes of the Union republics. The juridical norms, which are determining the major content of the water legislation, establish: the right of the ownership for the waters within the USSR; the procedure for the usage of the superficial and underground water facilities; the peculiari ties of the organization of the governmental management and monitoring within the field of the usage and protection of the waters; the procedure for the reimbursement of the losses, which have been caused because of the conducting of the water economy activities, and because of the termination or modification of the conditions for the water usage; the liability for the violations of the water legislation, and so on.

The waters within the USSR belong to the exclusive ownership of the government, and are provided only for the usage. The actions, which in the direct or indirect form violate the right of the governmental ownership of the waters, are prohibited, but if these actions had been committed, then these actions are juridically invalid, that is, these actions do not create the rights and obligations, for the establishment of which these actions have been purposed. The water facilities are provided for the usage, primarily for the satisfaction of the drinking and household needs of the population. The water usage is, as a rule, free of charge. The special water usage (which is performed with the usage of the built structures and technical devices, which are influencing the status of the waters) may be subject to the payment, in the cases, and according to the procedure, which are established by the Council of the Ministers of the USSR.

All waters (water facilities) within the USSR are subject to the protection against the pollution, clogging, and depletion. The activities for the protection of the waters are specified within the governmental plans for the economic and social development. For the purposes of the protection of the waters, which are used for the drinking and household water supply, for the medical, resort, and health needs of the population, there are established the regions and zones for the sanitary protection, in accordance with the legislation of the USSR and of the Union republics. The losses, which have been caused to the enterprises, organizations, institutions, and citizens, because of the conducting of the water economy activities (the hydraulic-technical works, and so on), and also because of the termination or modification of the conditions of the water usage, are subject to the reimbursement in the cases, and according to the procedure, which have been established by the decision of the Council of the Ministers of the USSR (SP USSR, 1978, # 10, page 69).

The governmental management within the field of the usage and protection of the waters is performed by the Council of the Ministers of the USSR, by the Councils of the Ministers of the Union and Autonomous republics, by the executive committees of the local Soviets of the people's deputies, and also by the specially authorized governmental organizations, and by other governmental organizations, in accordance with the legislation of the USSR and of the Union republics. The governmental monitoring for the usage and protection of the waters is performed by the Soviets of the people's deputies, by their executive and administrative organizations, and also by the specially authorized governmental organizations, according to the procedure, which is established by the legislation of the USSR. The specific organizations, and the procedure for the monitoring, are determined by the Regulation on the governmental monitoring for the usage and protection of the waters (SP USSR, 1979, # 17, pag e 114).

Within the USSR, there is specified the criminal and administrative liability for the violation of the water legislation. Thus, those persons, who are guilty of the violations of the water legislation, which has been specified by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR during the October 1, 1980, are subject to the fine, which is imposed according to the administrative procedure; the citizens, up to 50 rubles, and the designated persons, up to 100 rubles. The impositions of the fines are performed by the designated persons of the organizations for the regulation of the usage and protection of the waters within the system of the Ministry for the Amelioration and Water Economy of the USSR, while for the pollution and clogging of the waters along the routes of the Northern Sea Way, and within the regions, which are adjacent to it, also by the designated persons of the administration of the Northern Sea Way at the Ministry of the Marine Fleet of the USSR. The imp osition of the fines for the pollution and clogging of the underground waters, and also for the violation of the water protection regime at the drainage basins, which is causing the pollution of these waters, is performed by the designated persons of the organizations within the system of the Ministry for the Geology of the USSR. The organizations of the Gosgortechnadzor of the USSR (the governmental mining technical supervision) impose the fines for the violation of the rules for the protection and usage of the water-mineral resources.

Abroad, within the socialistic countries, the rational usage and protection of the waters are performed on the basis of the following legislative acts: the Law about the water (1969), and the Law about the protection of the air, waters, and soil against the pollution (1963), Bulgaria; the Law about the water affair (1964), Hungary; the Law about the water (1963), the East Germany; the Law about the waters (1976), Mongolia; the Water Code (1974), Poland; the Law about the waters (1974), Romania; the Water law (1973), Czechoslovakia, and others.