Russia is on the list of a few countries of the world, which does not have a fresh water law
Experts provide rather pessimistic forecasts about the situation with water on the planet. According to experts’ estimates, wars for water might happen in Africa in the current century. One-third of the planet’s population lives under the condition of a strong lack of fresh water. Eight billion people will fall victims of the water crisis in 25 years.
The water issue is very actual nowadays. The UN conference for environment and development, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, ruled that the year 2003 would be announced the International year of the fresh water. March 22 was announced the World Water Day. Experts believe that the world needs to have something like a water-saving revolution: new technologies, which allow to economize water. Up to six thousand people, basically children in developing countries, die of bad quality water daily. Twenty five thousand people more die every year on account of microbes that they drink with fresh water. This was said in a conclusion that was made by a group of United Nations experts.
The authors of the report, which was prepared for the World forum for water resources (the forum is to take place in Kyoto in Mach), believe that the global warming and the growth of the population will make the water issue even more serious. However, there is something optimistic about the issue too. Water purifying operations, which were performed in several rivers of the United States and Europe, allowed to improve the ecology of those rivers a lot. Prior to those operations, the rivers were polluted a lot. When the operations were over, fish started spawning there again. More than 250 million people were provided with good quality water treating facilities in South Asia.
Speaking of Russia, it is generally believed that the Russian Federation enjoys abundant water resources. Russia took the second position at the latest UN environmental conference in South African Republic. The world economic community is supposed to take into consideration the fact that Russia is responsible for the safety of global ecosystems. Up to 20% of global fresh water reserves are located on the Russian territory.
The situation with water in Russia is the best in Moscow. An average Muscovite consumes 380 liters of water a day – this is the world record. This norm is a lot lower in European countries – 120-150 liters. The cost of water on earth is comparable to the cost of petrol, although the water in Russia costs about one ruble per cubic meter (about three cents). However, the Moscow government has managed to decrease water supplies to the Russian capital by 15% over recent years. The company Moscow Water Channel announced that they had a goal to bring the daily water consumption down to the level of 250 liters per capita. This goal is to be achieved by 2010. The control over the quality of the Moscow water is conducted by the joint Russian-French concern ROSA (Dew). The history of Moscow water supply system does not know any epidemic that was caused with water. However, one should not forget that the chlorine constituent in the Russian fresh water is 2.5 times as much as in the USA and 12 times as much as in Western Europe. Chlorine is a Russian way to save people from dirt in the water.
At times, Muscovites complain of smelling something really bad in the water. This is explained with the fact that Moscow agricultural organizations used water wash systems to wash away manure during the Soviet period. This problem is a lot more serious in other cities of Russia. In St.Petersburg, for example, about 20% of waste water is discharged in the Neva river without any purifying procedures – one million cubic meters a day. In South Ural, in the Volga region, in the Kemerovo region, it is strongly recommended to boil water before drinking it. A factory that produces cast iron pipes appeared in Russia not so long ago (in the city of Lipetsk). Cast iron pipes were used before the revolution and they are still fine. Post-war pipes are all eaten with corrosion.
The number of dangerous water tests dropped in Russia considerably over the recent decade. It basically happened on account of the industrial crisis in the country. Water treatment facilities have not been a big issue in Russia for many years already: nobody either builds or repairs them. Ecologists are certain that the epidemic risk will increase a lot after the industrial growth starts. By the way, Russia is one of the few countries, which does not have a fresh water law.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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