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European water reserves deserve more attention

FAMOUS FOR ITS RAIN, THE UK IS one of the four largest nations in the European Union but, according to a recently published report, it doesn’t rate among Europe’s top ten in terms of water resources. With just 68.25Bm3 of long term average annual water resources, the UK is behind poorer and drier countries such as Greece and Portugal. It also has less than one-third of the leader, France, which has 191Bm3 of water reserves.

As highlighted by the report called The European Water Industry, although water supply is good in Europe when compared with many other regions of the world, there are significant issues that demand attention. Around 65% of Europe’s water is obtained from groundwater sources but this is being overexploited by many major cities. Surface water also has to be safeguarded as 20% is seriously threatened by pollution.

The southern countries of the EU, with their warmer climates and greater need for irrigation, have the highest levels of abstraction. Irrigation has increased by 20% since 1985 and is a major factor in increasing demands on EU water supply. Portugal has the highest levels of abstraction at 1170m3 per person per year, followed by Spain (1040m3), Italy (976m3) and Greece (829m3).

The European Water Industry report is available from Keynote priced UK£730. Call +44 208 481 8750 for more details.