The Drinking Water Infrastructure in the Oltenia Plain over the Last Decade. Territorial Characteristics and Quantitative Aspects of Production and Consumption
Abstract: The aim of the paper is to analyse the territorial disparities of the drinking water infrastructure in the Oltenia Plain. The study focuses on the following main aspects, specific for the general dynamic of water infrastructure development in the last decade: – the increase in the number of human settlements connected to drinking water network;- quantitative aspects of drinking water production (cubic meters/ day) and different types of consumers (thousand cubic meters).The article intends to highlight the data-base on NUTS V level (TEMPO Online time series, National Institute of Statistics) and to map the main changes registered by the statistical indicators used for the analysis: the number of territorial-administrative units (ATU) connected to the drinking water network, the length of the drinking water infrastructure, the capacity of installations to produce drinking water, the consumption of water by the different types of consumers). In the Oltenia Plain the extension of the number of ATUs connected to the drinking water network was linked with the development of the regional operator in water management, Water Company Oltenia. Despite its weaknesses, this main actor on the water-market of Oltenia will install workstations in two small towns (Băileşti and Calafat), assuring better water services in a relatively large area of the Oltenia Plain. During the last ten years, the water infrastructure became more accessible for the rural settlements and population. The production of drinking water decreased (the capacity of installations to produce drinking water in 2008 was smaller by 1.1% than in 2000) in the last decade, this dynamic being related to the negative evolution of total population (a decrease by 98,736 inhabitants between 1990 and 2009) in the Oltenia Plain, and to decline of agricultural and industrial activities. The two types of consumers (the householders and other consumers = economic actors) differ concerning the rate of the decrease in their consumption: the household type consumption drops only by 17%, compared with 49.2% specific for the other consumers. This dynamic should be explained by the reduction in economic activities, great water consumers (e.g. agriculture and industry).