Water withdrawals are used for various purposes, varying from country to country. On a global scale, agriculture is the largest consumer of water followed by domestic uses and then industrial uses. Notably, Some countries have a high percentage of their water directed to industries. Improved technology has led to the development of home appliances, which ensure efficiency in water consumption and reduce domestic water use. High energy consumption also drives water withdrawal to industries in these countries. Top countries where water is most likely to be used in industry are:
96% of water withdrawn in Estonia is used for industrial purposes. Estonia is located on the coastline of the Baltic Sea and has lakes and rivers that supply the country with surface water. It has the fourth largest lake in all of Europe namely, Lake Peipsi. Groundwater, which is replenished by rainfall, is also withdrawn for use in lesser volume than surface water. Mining and production of electricity account for a substantial amount of water withdrawals.
Estonia has several industries which affect water abundance and water safety. They are textile, paper and pulp industries, food processing industry and mining of oil shale. The shale oil sector mainly uses a lot of water to generate power and fuel processes. The industry also contributes to water reduction and pollution. Wastewater treatments are distributed across the country to curb water pollution by industries.
Finland’s water resources comprise of surface and underground water. Underground aquifers are abundant in Finland and are constantly replenished by rainfall and the melting of snow. Underground water in Finland is pollution free and of high quality. Finland has some of the best water policies in the world which protect water resources from pollution. Proper planning in the industrial sector accommodates the risk of water contamination, and prevention measure is enforced. Industrial emissions in Finland are adequately monitored to ensure hazardous materials are not released into water bodies.
Water-intensive industries in Finland include the production of paper and pulp, manufacture of textiles, food processing, garment manufacturing, and chemical production. Water is used to generate power for machinery and metal industries.
90% of water withdrawals in Lithuania are driven into industries. Surface water is the main source in the country, with six notable major river basins namely: Pregel, Daugava, Venta, Coastal basins, Nemunas and Lielupe. Groundwater is also resource utilized in Lithuania. Water-intensive industries in Lithuania are textile, wood and paper, chemicals, and agricultural processing industries. Lithuania has put in place adequate measures to manage water resources and prevent pollution. The effects of such measures are high-quality water for use in the country. Lithuania has one of the top-ranked water policies in the world.
88% of water withdrawals in Belgium are used for industrial purposes. Most of Belgium’s water resources are located in the Wallonia region, with surface water accounting for most withdrawals. Water resources in Belgium are abundant and are utilized efficiently. Several industries rely on water in Belgium for power supply. Production of steel, automobiles, metals, petroleum, and glass, are some power-intensive industries.
Water-intensive industries in Belgium include textiles, chemicals, and food and beverage processing. Belgium has however been ranked as lagging behind its European counterparts ineffective water treatment. River pollution has been reported in Belgium, mainly caused by historical pollution and contemporary waste to a substantial extent. Belgium has however embarked on measures to reach international standards of water safety.
Other countries where water is most likely to be used in industries include the Netherlands (87%), Germany (84%), Moldova (83%), Slovenia (82%), Serbia (82%), and Canada (80%). These countries are highly industrialized nations. Despite the massive consumption of water by their industries, these countries have managed to avoid excessive depletion of their water resources. Proper planning in the industrial sector reduces the environmental impact of various industries.