- Poland is experiencing the fastest decline in drinking water in Europe after Malta and Cyprus.
- In 2020, per capita drinking water resources fell to the third worst in the continent
- An audit by the Supreme Audit Office found that water distribution networks in villages were wasting large amounts of potable water.
- Many failures are the result of lack of funds for investments and poor monitoring. At the same time, nothing was done to get money for drinking water needs
- The water quality also leaves a lot to be desired. Many water utilities do not even monitor all indicators
- More important information can be found on the Onet homepage
The latest Eurostat figures are for 2020, and we had a second year of drought and rainfall as a solution. It got better later. But the statistics apply to all European countries, and this is it Water is depleting very fast in our country. Well, maybe except for Malta and Cyprus, but these are islands in the Mediterranean and a completely different climate.
Deep “water stress” in Poland
According to UN standards We are already under deep “water stress”.. This pressure starts below 1.7 thousand. per cubic meter. After There is not enough water to meet the needs of people and the environment, or the water is unfit for drinking That’s what scientists said in a study for the United Nations. As a country in 2020, according to the latest Eurostat data We had only 1.1 thousand water sources. cubic meters per person, ie 35% below “water pressure”. A year ago it was even lower as 1.09 thousand. cubic meter
Well, but 2019-2020 are years of weather drought in Poland, then it was better, at least with rain. This is true, but does little to improve the 20-year average picture calculated by Eurostat. This average is 1.58 thousand. per cubic meter head. It’s still there 7 percent below the “water stress” level.
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According to the Supreme Audit Office, which examined 20 water management companies across the country based on water resource losses, still in 1972, water resources in Poland were 1.8 thousand. Cubic meters without further exposure, but according to UN rules, there is no threat so far. Now it is.
3rd worst place in Europe
In 2020 our per capita supply of drinking water has decreased by 30%. Compared to the 20-year average, only Malta had a worse result, where it was 45 percent lower. and Cyprus a 31 percent loss. In the neighboring Czech Republic, which made us the worst place in Europe for access to drinking water in 2020, only 4%, Slovakia 1% and Sweden 5%. Water dispute with the Czech Republic in the context of mining in Turów It didn’t come out of nothing. They are just as bad as us.
Eurostat does not have any data for Germany and Lithuania. According to the latest data For Germany, the situation in 2018 was worse than for Poland, because the resources are 1.4 thousand. Cubic meters per person, we have 1.6 thousand. But Lithuania had seven times more resources per capita than Poland.
Norway and Croatia are the best in Europe in terms of available drinking water. We are third last behind Cyprus and Malta, and on long-term averages, the Czechs are still ahead of us in this negative ranking.
A large amount of water is wasted in rural areas
In 2019, the month of July, which is usually rainy, received only 52 mm of rain on average for the 11 measuring points of the Meteorological and Water Management Institute. A year later, it was 51 mm. This is half of previous years. Last year it was better, with an average of 97mm, but this year the average has dropped again to 81mm.
However, there are things we can influence and things we cannot help. The problem is what we do to ensure that the little drinking water we have is not wasted. It is not about our impact on climate and CO2 emissions into the atmosphere Water poisoning like the last one in the Oder Riveror earlier Failure of pipes leading to the Czajka sewage treatment plant in Warsaw. It turns out that drinking water waste is huge and widespread. Actually, you can write “Class”. Water is wasted energy in under-invested rural water networks.
As mentioned above, the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) inspected 20 water distribution networks in Poland in five voivodeships: Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lubuskie, Mazowieckie, Opolskie and Pomorskie. The studies were carried out in 2019-2021. The results just presented are enormous.
During the period covered by the audit, the water supply companies recorded a total loss of nearly 5.3 million cubic meters. Water
– NIK wrote in the report.
In the commune municipal establishment near Blok, situated close to the Lacy Tuci lake and 15 km from the Vistula river. An average of 6.4 cubic meters is wasted per day. of water per kilometer of water supply network.
Among those at the forefront of drinking water loss: the plant in Łysomice near Torun and the Technology and Innovation Park in Przywory near the Oder, about 70 km from where the dead fish are now found. More than 4 cubic meters is wasted in both these water companies. Drinking water per kilometer Water supply per day.
Even more than half of the water is wasted
“In more than half of the units, water losses during the period covered by the audit exceeded 30% of the water pumped into the production and network. In 45% of the audited enterprises, the volume of water was more than half. Water was sold, and in six units, water losses exceeded 60% of that volume.” – We read in the NIK report.
The report also indicated that the companies had taken appropriate measures. But failures abound. During the audit, 1.8 thousand failures occurred in these 20 units. The number of failures per kilometer of the network ranged from 0.03 to 3.7 for the record holder, namely at ZGK Górzyca, near Kostrzyn on the Oder.
See also: Odra pollution in Poland. Germany reacts
“Failures of water supply networks were mainly caused by their poor technical condition, wear and tear and age of the water supply network, as well as damage during works” – comments the Supreme Audit Office. He insists that while there were many failures, they were not long-lasting and were quickly repaired, with the average failure lasting four hours.
Water utilities that set up monitoring effectively prevented failures, but only 65 percent. Among them there is no evidence to establish it. Also, 14 of the 20 plants did not control the network, and one did so for only 1 percent. Network length. The lack of funds is also explained here.
“No network age information”
The poor technical condition of water supply networks is related to their age. “The majority of networks (approx. 67 percent) are between 20 and 60 years old. Interestingly, 40 percent of units do not have information about the age of their networks, and a third of companies do not know what they mean. Created” – Supreme Audit Office warnings .
Despite complaints of lack of funding, he points out that the managers of the studied units did not receive any external funding (national or European) for the implementation of joint water supply projects during the audited period. Only one company in 2019 is 25,000 PLN. Acquired external funds, however, allocated them for the purchase of a passenger car “- says the report.
The report also points to the issue of water quality. Up to 80 percent of plants had problems maintaining it, and in one quarter, health inspections questioned at least one in five water samples. At one plant, only half of the ratings provided by the sanitary inspection confirmed that the water was fit for consumption. In another case, the water was not used for five months and in another case it was useful but since 2013 “under certain conditions”.
NIK revealed irregularities in controlling water quality in seven out of 20 plants. Not all water parameters are checked or information about violation of parameters is not sent to health inspectors with delay.
Author: Jacek Frączyk, journalist at Business Insider Polska
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