27 March 2009, Friday, 11:57
author: Eugene Rakhimkulov
Water resources protection and treatment was under discussion in Ministry of ecology RB at the scientific-practical conference “Regional problems of water resources protection and rational usage”, dedicated to the World Water Resources Day.
The World Water day is marked upon the initiative of the International Water Supply Organization and UNESCO for 16 years on March 22. On the territory of Russia this day is marked since 1995 under the slogan “Water means life”.
Every man needs about three liters of water for cooking and drinking every day. This is just one cubic meter per year but people need water not just for drinking but for other purposes too, so its rational usage is very important because water reserves on the Earth are not limitless. The mankind uses about 200 thousand cubic meters of sweet water of 35 million cubic meters, available on our planet. This is less than 1%. But one has to take into account that distribution of water in different regions is very uneven, so about one third of population on the Earth lives under very intense hydroeconomic balance and one billion people have no access to fresh water – about 60% on the territory of Asia and 27% in Latin America. 2,4 billion people live in unsatisfactory sanitary conditions. More than one billion people live under so-called “water stress”, peculiar for the territories where annual water reserves make up 1000-1700 cubic meters per one man and many people live under the “water crisis”, when the norms make up less than one thousand cubic meters per man.
Russia is found in the list of leaders by the volumes of water resources together with Brazil, Canada and Austria but Russian population faces many problems with water quality and water supply and uneven water distribution is also the problem for the country. The larger part of Russian water resources is concentrated in the rivers in the zone of the Arctic Ocean – Enisei, Lena, Ob and Amur, located in poorly inhabited regions but only 16% of water resources fall on the European part of the country, where the majority of Russian population lives.
The index of water resources in Republic of Bashkortostan is several times lower than in Russia on average. 8,7 thousand cubic meters of water fall on one person in Bashkortostan per year or 24 cubic meters daily. It is clear that the “water stress” doesn’t yet threaten our Republic but several alarming symptoms appeared for the last years. One of such symptoms is the reduction of the number of full-flowing rivers. Water resources are distributed on the territory RB also unevenly as well as in Russia. Besides, the problem of water quality remains very hot for the Republic. 1,7 million tons of contaminants are discharged in our rivers annually. More than 60% of sewage waters are purified not enough and 2% are not purified at all. The system of water cleansing needs urgent modernization. Thus, drinkable water in Russia contains 2,5 times more chlorine than in the USA and 12 times more than in Europe, so new and safe methods for water purification have to be launched as soon as possible.