Underground treasures of Lithuania2013-11-29
Lithuania is one of the few countries in the world to use groundwater for centralised water supply. Such water is protected from superficial pollutants and nitrates and needs no additional disinfection, which is done only in exceptional cases.
For example, groundwater provides only 70 per cent of Poland’s total need, 65 per cent in Estonia, 98 per cent in Denmark and as little as 33 per cent in the US, while Europe’s coverage counts 65 per cent of its total need for drinking water. Countries short of groundwater cater for their drinking water needs using surface water. Such water is polluted and therefore needs to be disinfected.
As the deputy director of the Lithuanian Geological Survey under the Ministry of Environment, Jonas Satkūnas, pointed out during the media information workshop yesterday, statistically only one in six people in the world has access to safely usable water, which puts Lithuania among exceptionally rich countries. Our deep water resources count 3.72 million m3 per day while we have been consuming only between 350,000 and 390,000 m3 per day, or only 10 per cent of total available groundwater, in recent years.
Water is not Lithuania’s only asset. Based on calculations, the value of underground mineral resources comprises 1/3 of the national assets, totalling LTL 58 billion. While, for example, forests and protected areas each make up 1/6 of the national assets, or LTL 20 billion. Lithuania’s mineral resources include gravel, sand, peat, limestone, dolomite, petroleum, etc. Last year, 10.564 million m3 of these (excluding petroleum) were extracted.
Public information division
29 November 2013