Water consumption by Bystra village dwellers in the light of survey research

key words: questionnaire investigations, water supply, balance of water

Summary:

Water surrounds us, it is the essential component of all living organisms and all the life on earth is inevitably connected with it. From times immemorial people used to settle close to water reservoirs (rivers, streams or lakes) aiming to have water resources and natural protection against attacks or wars, as well as abundance of food (fish). Only later paths joining subsequent villages changed into roads, small settlements became towns, which later turned into large city agglomerations which we know today. On the scale of Poland there are only several cities which are not situated close to rivers. These are: Katowice, Kielce, Koszalin, Leszno, Łódź, Radom, Siedlce and Wałbrzych. As far as their history is concerned these are relatively young cities and their establishment was conditioned by other factors. Currently they face grave problems of water deficiency. In cities the problem of water supply concerns mainly its purity, but in rural areas it is connected with considerable capital consumption because of greatly dispersed holdings. Formerly water had to be carried into houses in pots and subsequently a technical progress made possible its supply directly to households. This caused a rapid increase in water consumption. Further development through increasing the number of water intakes and introduction of warm running water supply to houses led to a tremendous increase in water demand. Such high water consumption coupled with limited water resources and mass introduction of chemicals caused a considerable degradation of the natural environment. There are many methods of water saving at home, which assume various forms depending on the character of the household. The goal of research was to determine an average consumption and possible saving of potable water by a household in Bystra Śląska village considering differences in water consumption depending on: the number of inhabitants and their ages, the number of water intakes, the kind of water intakes, the kind of sewer system, etc. Data on water consumption by concrete households were supplied by Waterworks Company at Bystra. Answers to other questions pertaining to the issues addressed in the article were elicited by an analysis of directed interviews. The survey generally comprised two groups. The first focused on socio-economic situation of a household, the other on the water intake points as such. The surveyed households were characterized by a different number of members: between one and six. An average age was 46 years. The analysed sample comprised 18% of persons at school age, 65% at productive age and 17% at a retirement age. A household uses on average 34m3 per a quarter of the year. The value per one inhabitant is 10.8 m3. Most unexpected results were obtained while analyzing water consumption in relation to sewer system, washing up or the kind of sanitary fittings.

Citation:

Sikora J., Woźniak A., Zemanek J. 2006. Water consumption by Bystra village dwellers in the light of survey research. Infrastruktura i Ekologia Terenów Wiejskich. Nr 2006/ 3 (2)