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IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS – The challenges of water use in Europe

The water needs of the Earth’s – including Europe’s – population constantly and dynamically grow, while the water reserves keep running out, and the efforts to renew fresh water are not efficient enough yet. For the time being, the water crisis is less perceptible in Hungary, even though it ranks in the top 5 challenges faced by the planet according to an analysis by the World Economic Forum. Here we will show you some international examples of how different countries are trying to make their water situation sustainable, whether they struggle with too much or too little water.

1. Where there is too much water

There are some areas of Europe where, surprisingly, too much water is the source of challenges for professionals and civilians. The Netherlands fall in this category, with more than half of its territory lying under sea level. Unfortunately, global warming and the melting of the Arctic ice is a visible process. To control the water, the Dutch have been building dams and embankments for centuries. Floods caused dramatic damages in the early 1990s, thus they started to think sustainably and for the long run. A result of this effort was the programme named “Room for the river”, which aims to restore natural floodplains, bogs and dams. However, the Dutch can neither produce quality drinking water from the crowded, sometimes oil-stained canals nor the high groundwater polluted by intensive livestock farming, and the salt seawater is not fit for drinking either. In turn, the Dutch began purifying the water quite early on. The first purified water was produced in Amsterdam in 1853. The motivation was the destruction of the cholera epidemic, typhus, as it was realised that diseases also spread through water. The Dutch are also very proud that their drinking water is free of any chlorine odour, but is soft – which is useful for household appliances. Thanks to the tasty water, the Dutch drink less bottled water than their Western European counterparts, helping them reduce the use of disposable packaging and thus their waste generation.


2. Where there is too little water

Of the southern countries, Malta, Greece, Portugal and Spain also suffer from severe droughts during the summer months. Due to its geographical location, water scarcity is a natural phenomenon in Malta, ranking among the top 10 water deficient countries in Europe. But why? This is due to the water demand generated by low rainfall, high temperature, evaporation and high population density. Nature can only provide about half of their total water needs. This is why Malta has applied a unique procedure since 1982: desalination. Because there is plenty of seawater. Desalination is carried out in an energy-efficient manner, and it is supplemented with a comprehensive leak reduction programme. An average Maltese citizen uses 110 litres of water a day, which is relatively low compared to other EU countries. But here, too, economic growth, the boom in tourism and migration are big challenges. Logically, the more people in an area the higher the water needs are. Malta makes small efforts to maintain the current state. For example, it is no longer very easy to obtain a large toilet flush tank on the island, the newly purchased taps are all equipped with aerators and the water and energy efficiency of washing machines and dishwashers is also improving.


3. And what about us?

Let’s take a look at the situation in Hungary! For the time being, Hungary is in an exceptionally good position with regard to drinking water. Generally, water needs can be satisfied from two sources: surface water and groundwater. In Hungary, we further find karst water, which is clean rainwater collected inside the limestone hills, and so-called waters from riverside pebble beds. In places where karst water comes from the taps, washing machines need to be replaced more frequently and tiles also need to be cleaned more frequently. But this high-quality, very hard drinking water dissolved from the rocks does not need any purification. Therefore, the Hungarian drinking water is in a good position, yet the share of those consuming bottled mineral water is very high, which is accompanied by the unnecessary generation of tons of waste.

If you want a solution that delivers the above benefits yet is sustainable and environmentally friendly, use the Floewater water purification system, which offers premium quality, clean and fresh water under all conditions with a unique, innovative solution, and all this without any disposable packaging.


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