Since 1993 upon the recommendation of the United Nations General Assembly 22 March has been the World Water Day; the aim is to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate sustainable maintenance of freshwater resources.
Every year this day is devoted to a different aspect of freshwater - in 2009 the central topic is transboundary waters and the theme is "Shared Water - Shared Opportunities." It is based on the fact that transboundary water management can increase trust and understanding among countries, lead to safer and more peaceful world, and promote a more sustainable economic growth.
Slovenia’s water wealth
Three quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, which is why the Earth is also called the blue planet. Slovenia is due to large amounts of rainfall (on average 1000 mm / l/m2 in 2007) among the water-richest countries in Europe. The water wealth of Slovenia flows in many rivers, streams, springs, natural and artificial lakes and a part of the Adriatic Sea. However, only 2% of Slovenian rivers contain pure drinking water of the first quality class. It is found only in the upper flows of the rivers in the higher world of our Alps.
Rivers in Slovenia
Slovenia has an area of just over 20,000 km2 and 59 rivers with a length of about 2,500 km. Most of the rivers (80%) that flow through our country are "Slovenian", meaning that they spring and flow on the Slovenian territory. These rivers comprise 65% of the length of all rivers. Other rivers that flow through our territory - they are among our longest rivers as they represent 35% of the total length of rivers - are ranked among the transboundary (international) rivers.
With 940 km (of which 218 km on our territory) the Sava is the longest river that originates in Slovenia. It has two springs (Sava Dolinka and Sava Bohinjka), continues its journey through Croatia and flows into the Danube.
The second longest river that flows through the territory of Slovenia is the Drava (725 km, of which 142 km on our territory), which originates in Italy and comes to Slovenia through Austria, then flows through Croatia and also ends in the Danube.
The rivers that originate in Slovenia and then flow through Italy are Soča (137 km, of which 95 km on our territory) and Vipava (on our territory 44 km). The rivers that come to Slovenia from Austria are Mura, Ledava and Pesnica, the latter two flow into the Drava River in Slovenia, while Mura joins the Drava River in Croatia. The border river Kolpa (292 km, of which 118 km on our territory) originates in Croatia and flows into the Sava.
Abstraction of water from surface waters and its use
In 2007, 1% more water was abstracted for use in households and businesses than in 2006. In 2007, 167 million m3 of water was abstracted from the Danube river basin, most of it (75%) from the Sava river basin. From the Adriatic Sea basin in 2007 24 million m3 of water was abstracted, approximately the same quantity from the basin of the Adriatic rivers and from the Soča river basin.
Water abstracted from the Danube and Adriatic Sea basins was used by households (52%), business entities of different activities (20%), 2% of water was delivered but uncharged, while the rest were losses in the network, representing 26% of the supplied water. Business entities with their own sources abstract from the running waters 82% of all water needed for their operation.
25% of wastewater from public sewerage systems is not treated, while in industry virtually all
The quantity of water collected in the public sewerage systems has been increasing; in 2007 it amounted to 154 million m3, which is 8% more than in 2005. From the public sewerage system 115 million m3 of treated wastewater and 39 million m3 of untreated wastewater (more than 25% of all wastewater from the public sewerage system) was discharged in 2007. Most of the wastewater (97%) was discharged into surface waters, particularly the Danube river basin (90%), and the remainder into the groundwater.
In 2007, business entities in manufacturing discharged into surface waters 746 million m3 of wastewater. The majority (97%) of wastewater was discharged untreated; only 3% of wastewater was treated by manufacturing enterprises before discharge. Compared to 2006, in 2007 the quantity of discharged untreated water went up by 4%.