Kraków successfully manages water resources! The high, fourth place in this year’s Water City Index (WCI) ranking clearly shows that the capital of Małopolska is efficient in the times of increasing crisis related to the most valuable natural resource. Not only that, as today, Kraków boasts the cleanest tap water in Poland!
The Water City Index ranking is, as indicated by the organizers, the first and so far the only report that broadly defines the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the needs and challenges in the management of “blue infrastructure” in Poland. The main goal is to make city authorities, scientists, experts, residents think about as well as jointly develop standards that will allow more effective and efficient management of water resources.
The authors of the report meticulously analysed the policy of 218 Polish cities, taking into account four main areas and 14 assessment categories: life – drinking water, brown water, infrastructure maintenance; culture and people – waterfront, blue and green infrastructure, harmonious urban space; threat – flood, shortage (drought), sector threat, rainwater, local government activity; economy and business – water for industry, business attractiveness, water transport.
All over the world, cities face increasing difficulties regarding the rational and efficient use of water resources, due to a number of related crises such as drought, floods and pollution. – We remember about water when it starts to speak up for itself – say the authors of the ranking. Meanwhile, the transformations that cities are undergoing, including population growth and dynamic expansion, combined with increasingly visible climate change, force us to take immediate action to manage water resources more efficiently and protect them.
On the one hand, agglomerations suffer from drought-related water shortages in summer. On the other, the sewerage infrastructure can be inefficient during heavy downpours, which results in flooding of urban areas and property losses. At the same time, the resources of rainwater and water from thaw, which could be used, for example, in irrigation of green areas, too often run down to the sewage system, thus not bringing much benefit. To sum up, there is either too little or too much water, which proves that the balance is definitely upset. And this is only part of the issue, as after all, there is also a pollution problem, painfully experienced during the recent Warsaw crisis.
Kraków cares for water
Kraków is an example of a city with a properly implemented policy in the field of water and sewage management – summarize the organizers. The capital of Małopolska can boast not only the cleanest tap water in Poland and one of the cleanest in Europe, but also a reasonable pricing policy and many successful educational campaigns.
– It has more minerals than table water. Certainly, drinking water straight from the tap does not adversely affect our body – says Robert Żurek, press spokesman for Kraków Waterworks, on the swiatoze.pl. An information campaign called “In Kraków good water straight from the tap” has been going on for seven years in this city, encouraging Kraków residents to drink tap water, which is widely available, cheap and rich in minerals. – As part of the campaign, we inform about the advantages of Kranowianka (tap water from Kraków), as well as implemented investment programmes that have a direct impact on its high quality. We participate in city events, offering participants tap water, install water coolers, educate children and youth, invite Kraków residents to open days at water treatment plants – summarize the organizers.
The “Moja Woda” (My water) priority programme addressed to the owners of single-family houses is also carried out under the Environmental Protection Fund in Kraków. It supports the purchase, assembly, construction and commissioning of installations allowing the management of rainwater and snow water.
The creator of WCI report
Academics from the Cracow University of Economics, as well as experts from the Krakow Foundation of Economy and Public Administration (the organizer of the Open Eyes Economy Summit) and experts from Arcadis Company were responsible for the implementation of this year’s WCI report. Moreover, experts from the Polish Chamber of Commerce Polish Waterworks of the University of Warsaw and journalists from industry media were invited to cooperate.The students of the Cracow University of Economics, employed as consultants for contacts with city offices and water companies, helped in conducting the survey.