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Area: 5888268 km2
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Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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City & Country

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $3,024,633,677.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $229,615,018.00 - [8%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $352,468,993.00 - [12%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $1,241,931,650.00 - [41%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $124,752,826.00 - [4%]
  • Water Scarcity: $571,759,577.00 - [19%]
  • Water Management: $504,105,613.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

Access to Water Supply and Water Services
Compliance with Local Regulations and Widely-Accepted Standards
Local Water Resource Governance
Physical water supply
Upstream Water Issues
Water Demand and Competition among Users

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Poland has mean annual water resources per capita of approximately 1,600m3, almost three times less than the mean value for Europe. In addition, the available resources are subject to great yearto-year variability. Devastating floods and local water scarcities are frequent. The longest rivers are: the Vistula (Polish: Wisła), 1,047km long; the Oder (Polish: Odra) which forms part of Poland’s western border, 854km long; its tributary the Warta, 808km long; and the Bug, a tributary of the Vistula, 772km long. The Vistula and the Oder flow into the Baltic Sea, as do numerous smaller rivers in Pomerania. The Łyna and the Angrapa flow by way of the Pregolya to the Baltic, and the Czarna Hańcza flows into the Baltic through the Neman. While the great majority of Poland’s rivers drain into the Baltic Sea, Poland’s Beskids are the source of some of the upper tributaries of the Orava, which flows via the Váh and the Danube to the Black Sea. The eastern Beskids are also the source of some streams that drain through the Dniester to the Black Sea. Poland’s rivers have been used since early times for navigation. The Vikings, for example, traveled up the Vistula and the Oder in their longships. In the Middle Ages and in early modern times, when the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was the breadbasket of Europe, the shipment of grain and other agricultural products down the Vistula toward Gdańsk and onward to western Europe took on great importance. With almost ten thousand closed bodies of water covering more than 10,000m2 each, Poland has one of the highest numbers of lakes in the world. In Europe, only Finland has a greater density of lakes. The largest lakes, covering more than 100km2, are Lake Śniardwy and Lake Mamry in Masuria, and Lake Łebsko and Lake Drawsko in Pomerania. In addition to the lake districts in the north (in Masuria, Pomerania, Kashubia, Lubuskie, and Greater Poland), there is also a large number of mountain lakes in the Tatras, of which the Morskie Oko is the largest in area. The lake with the greatest depth – of more than 100m – is Lake Hańcza in the Wigry Lake District, east of Masuria in Podlaskie Voivodeship. Among the first lakes whose shores were settled are those in the Greater Polish Lake District. The stilt house settlement of Biskupin, occupied by more than one thousand residents, was founded before the seventh century BC by people of the Lusatian culture. 1.1.2.WATER USE Water withdrawals in Poland total around 16.2 km3/year. Water use by sector is: •for agricultural use, 8 per cent; •for domestic use, 13 per cent; •for industrial use, 79 per cent. 1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Water quality management is one of the key issues, creating problems for people’s livelihoods and the environment. Water and air pollution affect the entire country, however. A 1990 report found that 65 per cent of Poland’s river water was so contaminated that it corroded equipment when used in industry. After absorbing contaminants from the many cities on its banks, the Vistula river was a major polluter of the Baltic Sea. River water could not be used for irrigation. In 1990, about half of Poland’s lakes had been damaged by acid rain, and 95 per cent of the country’s river water was considered undrinkable. Because Polish forests are dominated by conifers, which are especially vulnerable to acid rain, nearly two thirds of forest land had sustained some damage from air pollution by 1990. In 1989, Polish experts estimated total economic losses from environmental damage at over US$3.4 billion, including soil erosion, damage to resources and equipment from air and water pollution, and public health costs. The situation has improved since 1989 due to a decline in heavy industry and increased environmental concern on the part of post-Communist governments. Air pollution nonetheless remains serious because of sulphur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the resulting acid rain has caused forest damage; water pollution from industrial and municipal sources is also a problem, as is disposal of hazardous wastes. Pollution levels should continue to decrease as industrial establishments bring their facilities up to EU standards, but at a substantial cost to business and the government.

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Organizations in Poland

Andersen is an esteemed software development company, boasts over 16 years of industry experience. Their team of 3500+ highly skilled and experienced professionals is committed to delivering exceptional results to clients like you. At Andersen, we firmly believe in the … Learn More

Our mission is to change how we deal with difficult, everyday spills and contaminated floors both in everyday life and also at work. Our innovations prevent significant water wastage in key high-use sectors, as well as improve efficiency, performance, hygiene … Learn More

Launched in July 2001, is a Polish Network of UNGC signatories, with an independent secretariat hosted and administered by Foundation Global Compact Poland and its mission is to promote and support the implementation of the UNGC principles and own initiatives … Learn More

For as long as nearly 70 years since its founding in 1949, Kurita Water Industries has been consistently operating in two areas of "water and the environment." To cater to diverse customer needs, the Kurita Group provides comprehensive solutions by … Learn More

· Climate change impact risk assessments, strategy, adaptation and proofing · Resilient cities / business · Water resources yield and supply assurance · Hydrology, specialising in Forest Hydrology (Professionally registered) · Flood modelling · Conceptual water supply planning · GIS … Learn More

TRANSLATIONS We are a technical and specialised translations agency. We provide complex servicing and the highest quality (ISO 17100 certified). Learn More

Projects in Poland

Increasing demand for the maritime transport, which currently constitutes 80% of the world trade volume, gives Poland an opportunity for development, thanks to its favorable location at the Baltic Sea. The Baltic is one of the most heavily loaded sea … Learn More

CONNECTING is a project that will establish the EU as a global leader for climate resilience, collaborative processes, and innovation for Nature Based Solutions by drawing on the experiences from three selected front-running cities in this project: Genk (Belgium), Glasgow … Learn More

River transport is ecological, cheap, and safe. The total external costs generated by river shipping is estimated 7 times lower than in the case of car transport. Unfortunately, the inland waterways transport has represented as little as 0.6 to 0.7% … Learn More

Our production sites across the globe annually commemorate World Water Day by preserving streams and marine ecosystems. Each of these sites clean up adjacent streams in conjunction with local governments, local NGOs and students while undertaking ecosystem preservation programs (releasing … Learn More

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