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In 1982, the water withdrawal was 97.8 km³, while in 1994 it had dropped to 77.1 km³. This reduction in water consumption, which concerns industrial and irrigation water withdrawal, has been related to the difficult economic situation in the Russian Federation, which worsened in 1990. In 2001, total water withdrawal was estimated at 66 200 million m³ of which 39 600 million m³ (60 percent) for industry – including 30 800 million m³ for cooling of thermoelectric plants –, 13 200 million m³ (20 percent) for agriculture and 13 400 million m³ (20 percent) for municipalities (Table 5 and Figure 1). In 2013, total water withdrawal was estimated at 61 000 million m³ (FSSS, 2015).
About 70 percent of the population of the Russian Federation obtains drinking water from surface water sources. In rural areas, more than one-third of the population uses drinking water from non-centralized sources (Dudarev et al, 2013).
Permafrost which occupies about 65 percent of the country, including the whole Arctic and the bulk of Siberia and Far East, is the main cause of infrequent use of groundwater sources in the northern part of the country. In small settlements, in general, water pipes supply untreated and non-disinfected drinking water directly from surface water sources. A majority of these water supply systems in rural areas are used only in summer. In winter, water is mostly delivered from surrounding reservoirs due to the insufficient flow rates of open water sources. Some communities use constant water preheating during cold seasons. In severe cold climate zones, where wells are unavailable or impossible to construct, water will typically be delivered by trucks carrying water tanks in summer and sawn ice blocks in winter (Dudarev et al, 2013).
In 2011, the quantity of produced wastewater was estimated at about 12 320 million m³.