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Opinions

11.04.2017

Without water, no life, no economy is possible, because no industrial and agricultural process can do without water. In 2013, at the Budapest Water Summit, it was stated that "a sustainable world is a world with water security." According to the chairman of the summit, Janos Martonyi "... none of the noble development goals in the world can be achieved without water," "... if we exclude nature from the water equation, then nature excludes us from the biosphere." The increased importance of water problems is connected to the fact that the greatest demand in the natural resource sector in the coming decades is predicted specifically for fresh water. According to the OECD, global demand for water will increase by about 55% by 2050 due to the growing demand from industrial enterprises (+ 400%), thermal power plants (+ 140%) and households (+ 130%). Freshwater supplies are also affected by the rapid pace of urbanization - it is expected that by 2050 about 70% of the world's population will live in cities and towns. According to OECD experts, a decrease in the volume of regulating releases and water availability for environmental purposes will put many ecosystems at risk. It is also expected that the contamination of water bodies with biogenic substances coming from municipal sewage systems and agricultural wastewaters will increase everywhere, which will stimulate eutrophication and degradation of aquatic ecosystems, especially in conditions of climate imbalance.

Increased risks to health create a new attitude to environmental activities, therefore traditional approaches to basin management need to be improved. In our opinion, it is possible to improve the quality of basin management, in the context of achieving global sustainable development goals and increased risk, through the incorporation of risk assessment methodology into the basin management and water management planning.

This will provide a scientifically sound assessment of water use safety, describe problem zones in domestic water supply and evaluate the priority of activities aimed at reducing health risks from drinking water pollution. Results of health risk assessment can also be used as risk indicators in the development of water management planning documents. Their systematic application allows to minimize the economic costs of water protection measures, highlighting those investment objects that most significantly reduce health risks from surface water pollution. Thus, the methodology for assessing health risks from environmental pollution is becoming an important element in improving the effectiveness of the surface water quality management.


Georgy Fomenko, Alexei Borodkin


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