[24]  In general, the perspectives of using ground waters first of all for economical and drinking water supply of the population in the Russian Federation can be considered quite optimistic. The estimates demonstrated that Russia possesses high forecasted resources of ground waters, whose total amount is approximately 300 km2 yr-1. The operational reserves of prospected fields are of the order of 30 km2 yr-1; approximately 20 km2 yr-1 of these reserves are ready for industrial development. At the same time, the total intake of ground waters does not exceed 14 km2 yr-1 including approximately 2 km2 yr-1 used in the mines and open cast mines for water flooding. Approximately 8.9 km2 yr-1 are used for economical drinking water supply, industrial technical water supply takes 7.7 km2 yr-1, and irrigation of land uses 0.4 km2 yr-1.

[25]  It is seen from the figures presented here that intake of ground waters can be increased strongly, which is stated in the Federal Purposeful Program "Provision of the Russian Population with Drinking Water''.

[26]  The tendency for maximal possible use of ground water for drinking water supply of the population especially related to the cases of unexpected (emergency) pollution of surface water sources should currently become determining in the general strategy of increasing reliability of the systems of economical drinking water supply. This strategy should be directed to mandatory participation of reliably protected ground waters in the water supply systems. In those cases when cities and towns are currently provided by surface waters or ground waters that are insufficiently protected from pollution it is necessary to enhance efforts for total transferring of the systems of drinking water supply to reliably protected ground waters or if it is not possible to compulsory existence of the source based on reliably protected ground waters in the system of water supply that satisfies 25-30% of the requirements in the water of drinking quality or to the development of an autonomous source of dinking water supply.

[27]  Irregular distribution of the resources, different degree of protection of individual water bearing layers from pollution, existence of hydrogeochemical provinces with increased content of separately normalized components in ground waters, possible pollution and depletion of exploitation reserves of ground waters related to economical activity, possible negative influence of intake of ground waters on other components of the natural environment determine the necessity of the individual approach to the solution of the problem of ground water use in each specific case. The main problem is in the correct formulation of the amount of water of required quality, which can be taken from a water bearing layer during the specific time of estimation without damaging the environment (including ground waters) or diminishing this damage to the minimum by means of special nature protection actions).

[28]  The concept of "rational use'' is based precisely on the combination of reasonable ground water intake and observing the norms of their quality. Rational use of ground waters is recommended to understand as economically reasonable exploitation of water that provides protection from pollution and depletion of their operation reserves and makes possible preserving the surface water reserves and ecological conditions at the given level.


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