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Water Use

In 2000, total water withdrawal was estimated at 101 million m3, of which 68.4 million m3 or 68 percent for agricultural purposes, 21.2 million m3 or 21 percent for industrial purposes and 11.4 million m3 or 11 percent for municipal purposes (Table 3 and Figure 1).

The Macal river, which flows into the Belize river, supplies the major municipalities in the largest district, Cayo, specifically San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Belmopan and Belize City, Ladyville, and all the villages in between and is also the primary source of water for agriculture and industry of the major agricultural-producing area known as the Belize river valley. Other main towns withdraw their water from either other rivers or from wells, with the exception of San Pedro town where potable water is accessed using reverse osmosis. The majority of rural residents are supplied by rudimentary water systems. A bottled water industry has also developed to serve the country’s rapidly increasing demand (BEST & CCCCC, 2009).


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