Latvia consists of a continental part in the east and the Kurzeme peninsula (Kurland) in the west. The continental consists of morainic uplands that are crossed by several rivers flowing to the lowlands, of which the main ones are the Daugava, Gauja, and Salaca rivers. The highest point of the country is in the Vidzeme uplands with an altitude of almost 312 meters (m) above sea level. The continental part is separated from the peninsula in the west by the Lielupe River, which flows through the Zemgales plain. In the peninsula are the Kurzeme uplands, which are lower than the continental uplands and crossed by several rivers, of which the Venta River is the most important. The highest point in these uplands is at 184 m above sea level. About 57% of the country lies below 100 m above sea level and only 2.5% lies above 200 m.
River Basins and Surface Water Resources
Depending on the physical and geographical conditions, a large part of the river discharge comes from either snow melt, groundwater or direct surface runoff. About 50-55% of the waters of the Daugava, Venta, Lielupe, and Musa rivers is melted snow, while for the Gauja and Amata rivers it is 35-40%. About 10-20% of the flow of some tributaries of the Lielupe (Memele and Svete) and the Aiviekste tributary of the Daugava is fed by groundwater, while for the Daugava and Gauja rivers it is 35-40%. In the Kurzeme peninsula and in the middle uplands, direct surface runoff accounts for 40% of flow of the rivers, while in the Zemgales plain it represents 20-30%.
The total internal renewable water resources (IRSWR) are estimated at 16.540 km3/year, incoming surface water resources at 18.709 km3/year.
The internal renewable groundwater resources are estimated at 2.2 km3/year. Part of the groundwater flows to the sea or is withdrawn by wells, and part is drained by the surface network. That part of the groundwater flow which does not contribute to the total IRWR (overlap) is estimated at 2 km3/year. Groundwater use is estimated at about 800,000 cubic meters per day (m3/day). In some regions, rapid depletion of the water table is observed. Quite a large quantity is used by cities. In the Jürmala area, close to the capital Riga, the groundwater is famed for its medicinal qualities (thermal baths).
Lakes and Dams
There are about 2,250 lakes with a total area of about 850 km2. About 36% of them are located in the Latgales upland in the southeast of the country.
Dams have been constructed for two main reasons: to control floods and to build hydroelectric power stations. Before the Second World War, about 300 such stations had been built. After the Second World War, the construction of another 547 small stations was planned, but only 267 were built. At present, no small power stations are functioning, though the reservoirs still exist.
The World Bank reports that at least 80 countries have water shortages and 2 billion people lack access to clean water. More disturbingly, the World Health Organization has reported that 1 billion people lack enough water to simply meet their basic needs, unfortunately in many countries water is scarce or contaminated.
Pure Aqua provides wide range of filtration and economical solutions based on the Latvia's water resources.
Latvia's main water resources are:
- Surface water “is water from river, rain water, lake or fresh water wetland, which can be treated using different methods, such as Ultrafiltration Systems, Media Water Filters, Brackish Water RO.
- Desalination can be used for water from ocean, or sea source, which can be treated using Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Systems; Desalination Systems
- Ground Water or brackish water is from water located in the pore space of soil and rock “Borehole well”, which can be treated using Reverse Osmosis Systems, Media Water Filters, Chemical Dosing, UV Sterilizers.
- Government water supply, which could have high level of hardness or high level of chlorine, can be treated with Water Softeners, Media Water Filters
Pure Aqua manufactures water treatment systems to Latvia that meet the World Health Organization requirements.