Economics of water. The influence of the resource on the prospects for the development of the state was discussed at SPIEF

St. Petersburg.  Forum participants during the session "Water is the source of life on Earth: is it an exhaustible resource?" within the framework of the XXV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.  Photo: Petr Kovalev / TASS photo host agency

St. Petersburg. Forum participants during the session “Water is the source of life on Earth: is it an exhaustible resource?” within the framework of the XXV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Photo: Petr Kovalev / TASS photo host agency

The issues of the water capital of states are being heard more and more loudly on international platforms. And economic forums in recent years are inevitably associated with the topic of ecology. There is already an understanding that the environmental agenda is an important component that should be taken into account, including in business plans, government plans, etc. How to protect our water resources – first of all, from ourselves? And how to reduce the damage from natural disasters? The discussion on this topic has become part of the business program of the anniversary, 25th SPIEF in St. Petersburg. At the round table “Water is the source of life on earth: is it an exhaustible resource?” platform “New Economic Order: Responding to the Challenges of the Time” brought together the largest experts in the water industry.

This is the first such event in the history of the forum, which indicates an understanding of the importance of water as part of an ecosystem in terms of both life support and economic development. The main issue is related to the possible depletion of water resources and the preservation of their qualitative state, so that clean rivers and lakes can be guaranteed to be a habitat for water and biological resources, be used as objects of recreation and satisfy the needs for drinking water supply of the population. And also be used for industrial development. Because no production in the world is possible without water.

“Now the topic of food security is being actively discussed. In a broad global sense – in the context of the growth of the world’s population, the need to increase food production. But this is technically impossible without the development of irrigation. Yes, with certain water-saving technologies, etc., but water is still needed as a basis for food production. The same is electricity. Hydrogeneration without water is impossible, as well as nuclear. There are quite vulnerable industries that cannot exist and develop without water resources. Therefore, the provision of water resources is a matter of sustainable development of mankind,” said Dmitry Kirillov, head of the Federal Water Resources Agency.

Global climate change, droughts, floods, typhoons and rainstorms reflect the dynamics of the planet’s water balance, which is under increasing anthropogenic impact.

It is almost impossible to prevent natural disasters. In those areas where floods traditionally occur, work is underway to install engineering protection, dams, fortifications, etc. They help reduce flood damage. This is about protection from the water element. Concern for water resources in Russia is the issue of the national project “Ecology”, which includes the improvement of the Volga, the preservation of Lake Baikal and other unique water bodies. The plans for the last point: in 2022 to clear more than 150 km of river beds, next to which almost half a million Russians live. Rosvodresursy allocated 2.5 billion rubles to the regions for clearing rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Over the three years since the start of the federal project “Preservation of Unique Water Bodies”, more than 190 km of riverbeds and about 13,000 hectares of reservoirs have been cleared. It was possible to improve the ecological living conditions for almost 10 million citizens of the country.

“Man, of course, needs to monitor what he does with water resources. There are more and more water-deficient regions in our country every year. In ancient times, people settled along rivers and seas, as they were the main transport arteries. Moreover, over time, these settlements are only expanding. We have a good example – the Volga River. 60 million people out of 146 million living in Russia as a whole live in its basin,” said Dmitry Kobylkin, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

It must be admitted that the attitude to water in our country is still rather frivolous. Why save tap water if it costs a penny? – many people still talk like that. Let’s go to the river or to the lake with barbecue – we leave behind mountains of garbage, and at the same time we will wash the car on the shore. As a result, even those bodies of water that are considered clean in the public mind, in fact, are not.

“Go to Dombay. Great resort, amazing mountains. But when the snow melts in the spring, the river bank is covered with a meter-long layer of plastic, paper, bags and other rubbish. “With the flood, all this washes away somewhere downstream. To solve the problem, it seems to me, you need to start small. And not even with children, although this is also important. And from the leaders who work on these lands, then gradually rising higher and higher,” said Yury Balega, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

There is a public demand for the environmental agenda in general and for the conservation of water resources. It was born primarily from the demand of the people and the changing young generations. And in order for citizens and businesses to treat water resources even more responsibly, the main issue is educational. A person, as a person, must develop and come to this consciousness himself, look at his surroundings.

As for the careful attitude in general when using water in industry, here it should be an everyday work. Implementation of the principles of the best available technologies should not be limited. Handbooks should be reviewed every ten years, technologies should develop, requirements should become more and more environmentally friendly, more resource-saving. If you do not stop on this path, then it is quite possible to form a society of economical water consumption. Thus – to ensure high environmental standards.

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