Towards joint management of the transboundary Gauja/Koiva river basin district

Responsible people

Inhabitants and households are significant water users in any river basin, region or country, creating pressure on water quality. The Gauja/Koiva river basin is accommodating about 250,000 thousand people, with 97% living on the Latvian side.

In general, domestic water use can be divided in water use for indoor and outdoor (if it is a single house) purposes. The outdoor use of water is generally for the needs of taking care of the yard and garden – watering the plants and grass. The indoor use of water is all the things done at home: drinking, preparing food, bathing and taking shower, washing clothes and dishes, brushing our teeth and cleaning our house.

The water use in households is measured in litres per day per person. While the European average is 150 l/d/p and in Finland even 200 l/d/p, the water use in Estonian households connected to a public water supply system has significantly decreased in the beginning of 21st century to an average 90 l/d/p in 2007 and remained stable over the past 5 years.

Tips for water saving behaviour in households

  • Fix dripping taps and pipe leakages.
  • Turn the tap off when you clean your teeth. Wash vegetables in a bowl rather than under a running tap.
  • A shower can use less water than a bath but only up to a point – if you do not spend long time there.
  • Fit aerator nozzles to taps, these reduce flow without compromising use.
  • Always run laundry and dish washing machines with a full load.
  • If you are buying new appliances, try to go for those with the best water efficiency rating.
  • If you buy a new toilet consider a dual flush model.