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Open AccessArticle

Legal status of surface waters—comparative study on the example of lakes

Faculty of Law and Administration, Department of International Public Law, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Warszawska street 98 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
Faculty of Geoengineering, Department of Land Management and Geographic Information Systems, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Prawochenskiego street 15, 10-720 Olsztyn, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 326;
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 16 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 23 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
Water laws in post-Soviet countries have developed in vastly different ways since each state became entitled to choose its own method of regulating inland water ownership. This article analyzes the Russian Federation and selected post-Soviet states’ legal systems related to ownership of surface waters, and assesses the possibility of legal transactions of lakes and other land areas covered by surface water. The research initially centers on establishing whether lakes are owned by the state or by the county, if a lake can be subject to sale to a private person or enterprise and finally examines the different approaches of post-Soviet countries to their surface water use. In achieving these objectives, the article analyzes water law in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. It then identifies how water ownership is regulated in these countries and compares this with United Nations assumptions of surface water ownership as a Sustainable Development Goal. Finally, the results establish that countries from the same “block” regulate water ownership similarly, and that combined regulations could enhance future implementation of international standards. View Full-Text
Keywords: water law; surface waters; post-Soviet States water law; surface waters; post-Soviet States
MDPI and ACS Style

Pietkiewicz, M.; Klimach, A.; Ogryzek, M. Legal status of surface waters—comparative study on the example of lakes. Water 2020, 12, 326.

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