Since 1 January 2002 all payments for water intake have been governed by an ap-propriate act. The article presents its economic conseąuences for rural water supply systems and water customers, as well as hopes and misgivings it involves. The act assumes 0.08 zl as a unit rate for 1m3 of underground water and 0.04 zl for 1m3 of the surface inland water. These rates may be considered initial as they are increased or decreased using appropriate multipliers. Introduction of the new rates for water intake will cause their increase from 0.0208 zl to the range of 0.024 - 0.192 zl/m3 depending on the water ąuality determined by its treatment method, country area and availability of water resources. As a conseąuence introducing this system the share of payment for water intake in the firm prime costs will increase, the costs them-selves will rise, which will probably lead to an increase in the price of 1 m of con-sumed water. Raised payments may cause some inhabitants to limit or even give up using public waterworks and use individual water intakes instead, it may cause dis-turbances in the mutual relation between the commune (gmina) and water supply system management. Higher payments may lead to water theft and decreased exac-tion of payments for water, limiting or even discontinuing outlays on renovation and proper maintenance of water supply systems. It may finally also cause bankruptcy of some water Utilities.