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Russian Federation

Water use

In 1982, the water withdrawal was 97.8 km, while in 1994 it had dropped to 77.1 km. 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 m of which 39 600 million m (60 percent) for industry including 30 800 million m for cooling of thermoelectric plants , 13 200 million m (20 percent) for agriculture and 13 400 million m (20 percent) for municipalities (Table 5 and Figure 1). In 2013, total water withdrawal was estimated at 61 000 million m (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 m.


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