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blc Apr 22, 2020 03:06 PM
On the following web page
there is a snapshot of a figure of the The European environment and outlook 2020 (figure 4.3 p108) which says that 60% of the water abstracted is returned to the environment.
It is not clear to me what happens to the remaining 40%. I assume that it accounts for water that is 'captured' into products such as plants, fruits or vegetables, etc. However, my understanding is that the water capture in those elements will eventually return to the environment as well, only after a longer period.
Is that correct?
Replies (1)
EEA Apr 23, 2020 03:05 PM
Dear M. 'Blc',

Thank you for contacting the European Environment Agency (EEA).

As you rightly mention, the remaining part is the amount of water that is lost by the economy during use. Water is lost during use as some portion of the water is incorporated into products (such as cooking the meals require to add water into), evaporated (e.g. via power plants using water for cooling), transpired by plants (plants and crops need to transpire water to grow) or simply consumed by households or livestock (e.g. drinking).

In a broader sense, you are correct that water consumed by economy might be returned back to the environment in a longer time period but not necessarily into the original location of water abstracted.

We hope that this may clarify the issue.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service