Depletion of water resources

Water use: in brief

Reverse and closed water systems

Intensive development of industry and agricultural production, an increase in the level of improvement of cities and settlements, a significant increase in population in recent decades have led to a shortage and a sharp deterioration in the quality of water resources in almost all regions of Russia.

One of the main ways to meet the needs of society in water is the engineering reproduction of water resources, i.e. their restoration and augmentation not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively.

Prospects for the rational reproduction of technological water consumption are associated with the creation of systems of repeated sequential, circulating and closed water supply at enterprises. They are based on the amazing property of water, which allows it not to change its physical essence after participating in production processes.

The industry of Russia is characterized by a high level of development of recycling water supply systems, due to which the saving of fresh water used for production needs is on average 78%. The best indicators of the use of circulating systems are found in gas (97%), oil refining (95%) industries, ferrous metallurgy (94%), chemical and petrochemical (91%) industries, and machine building (85%).

The maximum water consumption in the systems of circulating and re-sequential water supply is typical for the Ural, Central, Volga and West Siberian economic regions. In Russia as a whole, the ratio of the volumes of fresh and recycled water use is 35.5 and 64.5%, respectively.

The widespread introduction of perfect water circulation systems (up to closed ones) can not only solve the problem of water supply to consumers, but also preserve natural water sources in an ecologically clean state.

Water use

In recent years, due to economic destabilization, which led to a drop in industrial production, a decrease in agricultural productivity and a reduction in irrigated areas, there has been a decrease in water consumption in Russia (for 1991-1995 fresh water - by 20 , 6%, sea - by 13.4%). The structure of fresh water use has also changed: water consumption for production needs decreased by 4% (from 53% in 1991 to 49% in 1995), for irrigation and watering - by 3% (from 19 to 16%), at the same time the share of drinking water supply increased by 4% (from 16 to 20%).

By 1997, the volume of fresh water use in Russia amounted to 75780.4 million m3/year, sea water - 4975.9 million m3/year.

Public water supply

The municipal economy of Russia provides the water demand of the urban population, utilities, transport and other non-industrial enterprises, as well as water consumption for the improvement of settlements, watering the streets and extinguishing fires.

A distinctive feature of utilities is the constancy of water consumption and stringent requirements for water quality.

The planet's water resources are renewable, and for some reason humanity believes that this source is inexhaustible. But this is not the case. The depletion of these resources is a decrease in water reserves and in some places on the Earth is manifested most acutely. Water for drinking and technical purposes is becoming increasingly unavailable for some countries or their regions.

This is due, in most cases, to human activities.


The emergence of depletion of water resources is due to a number of factors:

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  • water sources (underground and aboveground) are unevenly distributed, which leads to more intensive water use in densely populated areas;
  • a lot of water is lost during transportation and use (industrial or personal);
  • water consumption is growing with the increase in the world's population;
  • decrease in water quality and its pollution, pollution of water bodies ...

Conditionally, the causes of depletion of water resources can be divided into natural and anthropogenic.

The former do not have a global impact on water supplies and quality, as they have an episodic, local character. These include volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters.

Anthropogenic factors should be considered in more detail. These include:

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  • water intake from the surface and from the bowels of the earth;
  • outflow of water in the process of underground mining various purposes;
  • construction of residential buildings and energy facilities (nuclear power plants and combined heat and power plants);
  • activities of industrial enterprises of oil refining, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, pulp and paper, food, etc.

The latter is not only related to the depletion of water resources, but also heavily pollutes the waters of the oceans.

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