Water resources of Russia

Water resources of Russia

Concept and meaning of water resources

Water resources of the world - all waters of the hydrosphere, including the waters of the oceans, surface and ground waters of the continents. These are essential and extremely valuable natural resources of the planet. Water is the most abundant substance on our planet: although in varying quantities, it is available everywhere, and plays a vital role for the environment and living organisms. Fresh water is of the utmost importance, without which human existence is impossible, and nothing can be substituted for it. People have always consumed fresh water and used it for a variety of purposes, including domestic, agricultural, industrial and recreational uses.

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Earth's water reserves

Water exists in three states of aggregation: liquid, solid and gaseous. It forms oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and groundwater in the upper crust and soil cover of the Earth. In a solid state, it exists in the form of snow and ice in the polar and mountainous regions. A certain amount of water is contained in the air in the form of water vapor. Huge volumes of water are found in various minerals in the earth's crust.

Determining the exact amount of water reserves around the world is quite difficult, since water is dynamic and in constant motion, changing its state from liquid to solid and gaseous, and vice versa. As a rule, the total amount of water resources in the world is estimated as the sum of all waters of the hydrosphere. This is all free water that exists in all three states of aggregation in the atmosphere, on the surface of the Earth and in the earth's crust to a depth of 2000 meters.

Current estimates show that our planet contains a huge amount of water - about 1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers (1.386 billion km³). However, 97.5% of this volume is salt water and only 2.5% is fresh. Most of the fresh water (68.7%) is in the form of ice and permanent snow cover in the Antarctic, Arctic, and mountainous regions. Further, 29.9% exists as groundwater, and only 0.26% of the total amount of fresh water on Earth is concentrated in lakes, reservoirs and river systems, where they are most readily available for our economic needs.

These indicators have been calculated over a long period of time, but if shorter periods are taken into account (one year, several seasons or months), the amount of water in the hydrosphere may change. This is due to the exchange of water between the oceans, land and the atmosphere. This exchange is usually called the water cycle, or the global hydrological cycle.

Freshwater Resources

Fresh water contains a minimum amount of salts (no more than 0.1%) and is suitable for human needs. However, not all resources are available to people, and even those that are available are not always suitable for use. Consider fresh water sources:

  • Glaciers and snow covers occupy about 1/10 of the world's land mass and contain about 70% of fresh water reserves. Unfortunately, most of these resources are located far from settlements, therefore, it is difficult to access.
  • Groundwater is by far the most widespread and accessible source of fresh water.
  • Freshwater lakes are mainly located at high altitudes. Canada contains about 50% of the world's freshwater lakes. Many lakes, especially those in arid regions, become saline due to evaporation. The Caspian Sea, Dead Sea, and Great Salt Lake are some of the world's largest salt lakes.
  • Rivers form a hydrological mosaic. There are 263 international river basins on Earth, which cover more than 45% of the land area of ​​our planet (with the exception of Antarctica).

Water resources

The main water resources are:

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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:

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:

  • water intake from the surface and from the bowels of the earth;
  • outflow of water in the process of underground mining for various purposes;
  • construction of residential buildings and facilities energy (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 related not only to the depletion of water resources, but also heavily pollutes the waters of the oceans.

Water resources as a factor in the development of productive forces ..

2. Problems of rational use of water resources….

3. Rationing of water consumption and sewerage …………… 12

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Types of water resources in Russia

All water resources of the country are usually divided into natural and man-made ones. Natural water resources include seas, oceans, rivers, lakes, swamps, glaciers, groundwater and soil moisture. Artificially created water resources are reservoirs needed to store large volumes of water.

General characteristics of water resources in Russia

The main water resources of Russia are represented by a dense network of large and small rivers. About 120 thousand rivers with a length of more than 2 million km flow through the country, and the total river flow is 10% of the total world river flow. There are more than 2 million lakes in Russia, 100 thousand swamps. Among the tens of thousands of reservoirs in the country, 325 are the largest with a total capacity of about 10 million m3. The territory of the state is washed by the waters of 12 seas of all oceans of the world, except for the Indian one. There are 1,777 underground water deposits in operation. The area of ​​the Arctic glaciers is 55.5 thousand km2, and the area of ​​permafrost glaciers is 11 million km2. More than 20% of the world's fresh water reserves are in Russia.

The seas of the Arctic Ocean basin washing the territory of Russia include the Barents, White, Laptev Sea, Kara, Chukchi and East Siberian. The seas of the Atlantic Ocean basin are the Baltic, Black and Azov, and the seas of the Pacific Ocean are Bering, Okhotsk and Japanese. The main destinations of the seas of Russia: shipping, fishing, recreation, industrial oil and gas production.

One of the warm southern seas is the Black Sea. Every year, thousands of people from Russia and abroad come to rest and receive treatment on its coast. The fauna of the sea is diverse: scorpions, stingrays, dolphins, seals and even sharks live at a depth of 200 m, and special types of algae and microorganisms can cause an amazing glow of the surface of the water in bright blue.

The shallowest sea in the world is the Azov sea, the depth of which does not exceed 14 meters. The Black and Azov seas are washed by the Crimean peninsula, which has many famous resorts on its territory.

In the west of Russia there is the Baltic Sea, which is greatly desalinated due to the large river runoff. Sprat, Baltic herring, salmon and the well-known Baltic sprats are caught here. You can see the unique coastal sand dunes - the Curonian Spit. There are large amber deposits in the Kaliningrad region.

The northern seas of the country are very cold and covered with ice almost all year round. Their shores and islands are covered with harsh tundra, and among the animals there are representatives of the cetacean family - beluga whales and narwhals. The famous northern sea route between the European part of Russia and the Far East passes mainly through the seas of the Arctic Ocean and partly along the Bering Sea, which belongs to the Pacific Ocean basin.

The Sea of ​​Japan is the windiest, with the possibility of storms and typhoons. The fauna is more diverse than in other seas belonging to Russia. There are more than 10 species of sharks alone, and some of them have already attacked vacationers.

There are more than 2.5 million rivers on the territory of the Russian Federation. The role of these waterways for the country is enormous. After all, it was the rivers that have long been the main defense against foreign enemies and served to delimit states. They are used as fresh water for human economic activities, for irrigation of agricultural land, for the extraction of commercial fish, for swimming and recreation areas for townspeople. Freight and passenger ships sail daily along the country's major navigable rivers. If earlier people used the energy of river reservoirs with the help of water mills, today in Russia there are a large number of hydroelectric power plants. The environmental problem remains the discharge of industrial and domestic waste into rivers, which leads to the pollution of the World Ocean.

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