World Water Day

A resident of Slovenia uses in the household on average 104 litres of water per day from the public water supply

It is not the importance of water for life that is questionable, it is the impact of people on water that we should worry about. In 2016, 887 million m3 of water was abstracted in Slovenia: 80% from surface waters and 20% from groundwater.

  • 20 March 2018 at 10:30
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This year we mark the 26th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly announcing 22 March the World Water Day. Every year, on this day, we remind ourselves how important water is for life, that access to drinking water is not guaranteed to all people and how necessary it is to manage waters stocks sustainably.

Nature for water 
The central theme of this year’s World Water Day is Nature for Water. Climate change and natural disasters have a negative impact on the water situation. By intervening in nature (degradation of vegetation, soil, rivers, lakes and seas), humans pollute water and increase the effects of floods and droughts.

Green infrastructure 
By solving the water challenges we face in the 21st century, the campaign raises awareness to greater use of green infrastructure, such as planting trees to replenish forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, restoring wetlands and other nature-based solutions. The mentioned actions would also make it easier for countries to achieve one of the goals of sustainable development: to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Drinking water is not available to all people around the world 
The United Nations draws attention to the need for action in the field of water with the following facts:
• 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.
• By 2050, the world’s population will have grown by an estimated 2 billion people and global water demand could be up to 30% higher than today.
• Today, around 1.9 billion people live in potentially severely water-scarce areas; by 2050, this could increase to around 3 billion people.
• Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the environment without being treated or reused.
• An estimated 1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from human faeces.

And how do we treat water in Slovenia? 
In 2016, 887 million m3 of water was abstracted in Slovenia: 706 million m3 from surface waters and 181 million m3 from groundwater. Almost all water abstracted from surface waters (99%) was used in production processes in different industrial activities, while 88% of water abstracted from groundwater was used for public water supply.

Water for public water supply 
In Slovenia in 2016 from all water sources 162 million m3 of water was abstracted for the public water supply system. Because of the damaged water network, 45 million m3 of water was lost and only 117 million m3 of water came to its final users. 

From the public water supply system most water was supplied to households (78 million m3). This resulted in the average use of water in households of 38 m3 per person in 2016, which is 104 litres of water per person per day.  

34 million m3 of water was supplied to other users (to kindergartens, schools, various public institutions, companies) and the remaining 5 million m3 of water was supplied but uncharged for street cleaning and firefighting.

Water from own intakes 
In 2016, 725 million m3 of water was abstracted from own intakes. Some of this water was used for irrigation purposes (3 million m3) and the vast majority (722 million m3) was used in industrial activities for production processes in mining and quarrying, in manufacturing, in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, and in water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities.

Water that was not used in industry, households, public institutions, agriculture and other activities was discharged back to the environment. Wastewater includes not only the amount of water that was discharged after use back to the environment, but also runoff rainwater, which flows back to the environment through the sewage system or is captured and discharged directly to rivers, streams and soil.

909 million m3 of wastewater ran back into the environment in 2016. From industrial activities 707 million m3 of water was discharged back to the surface waters and 200 million m3 of wastewater was discharged from the public sewage system. On average 68.6% of wastewater was treated before being discharged from the public sewage system: the share of treated wastewater was the highest in the Zasavska statistical region (96.5%) and the lowest in the Jugovzhodna Slovenija statistical region (30.7%). The least wastewater was discharged into the soil (2 million m3). 

The quantity of water stocks varies 
The quantity of water stocks in aquifers and the amount of available freshwater resources vary from year to year as they depend on the hydrological conditions. For example, due to very low river flows, in 2015 the quantity of available freshwater resources in Slovenia decreased by 46% to 12,144 m3 per person over the previous year.

In 2016, Slovenia put in its Constitution that everyone has the right to drinking water. Although Slovenia is known as a water-rich country, only a sustainable attitude towards the environment will ensure that it also remains as such.

When making use of the data and information of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, always add: "Source: SURS". More: Copyright.