The distribution of water resources in Europe is far from even, and is beginning to be the source of some significant problems. Europeans are becoming more concerned with how much water is available, and the quality of the water resources they use.
over 600,000 cubic meters of water are available per capita. This contrasts sharply with the densely populated nations of Western Europe. Many countries, such as Malta, also suffer severely from a generally dry climate.
In Russia, most of the population relies on water taken from rivers. Other European nations also receive water from surface sources, which often run over several countries, creating the potential for debates over water resources.
Belgium uses 70% of the water supplies available to it every year. Different European countries vary in how much water they withdraw from their supplies every year, ranging from 156 cubic meters in Luxembourg to over 4,000 in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Water is used for a variety of purposes in Europe. In the European Union, 53% of water is used for industry, 26% is used for agriculture, and 19% is used for domestic purposes.
In countries such as Austria
and Switzerland, limited water resources are being used with an increased degree of efficiency. Despite efficiency gains, water use is still climbing in Europe.
Many parts of Europe do not have as much water as they need. In 60% of European urban and industrial areas, water resources are overexploited. Now that the problem is becoming of increasing concern, governments are searching for solutions domestically and internationally.