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The study sector includes three French districts, Puy-de-Dôme, Isère, and Gironde (Figure 3), representative of the country's diversity (city vs. countryside, plains vs. mountains). According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the total population of the study area in 2009 was 3.215 million inhabitants. The distribution of towns by population size is similar in Isère and Gironde. The Puy-de-Dôme has fewer towns, and a higher percentage of them have small populations (Table 1). The number of events involving accidental microbiological pollution of the water supply in these sectors is close to the national mean, and did not differ significantly between these districts (Beaudeau 2010). The distributed water is mainly of underground origin in the three districts, as 99.1% of the water supply network use this type of resource in Isère, compared with 99.2% in Gironde and 98.1% in Puy-de-Dôme. Distributed water meets the microbiological standards for more than 95% of the supplied population in Isère and Gironde, and for more than 90% in Puy-de-Dôme.
Table 1

Distribution of towns in the study area by population (INSEE data, 2009)

Town size (inhabitants)GirondeIsèrePuy-de-DômeTotal
(0, 100) 14 3% 23 4% 29 6% 66 4% 
(100, 500) 210 39% 142 27% 238 51% 590 38% 
(500, 2,000) 202 37% 243 46% 154 33% 599 39% 
(2,000, 10,000) 94 17% 109 21% 39 8% 242 16% 
(10,000, 50,000) 19 4% 13 2% 2% 41 3% 
(50,000 et + 1% 0% 0% 0% 
Total 542 100% 531 100% 470 100% 1,543 100% 
Town size (inhabitants)GirondeIsèrePuy-de-DômeTotal
(0, 100) 14 3% 23 4% 29 6% 66 4% 
(100, 500) 210 39% 142 27% 238 51% 590 38% 
(500, 2,000) 202 37% 243 46% 154 33% 599 39% 
(2,000, 10,000) 94 17% 109 21% 39 8% 242 16% 
(10,000, 50,000) 19 4% 13 2% 2% 41 3% 
(50,000 et + 1% 0% 0% 0% 
Total 542 100% 531 100% 470 100% 1,543 100% 
Figure 3

French districts included in the study area.

Figure 3

French districts included in the study area.

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