International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

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Monitoring for Quality Surface Resources
in the Cities of Chuvash Republic

Zoya Trifonova

Chuvash State University, Cheboksari, Russia


The Chuvash Republic was among the first to develop the territorial complex scheme of city-planning concentrating on 10 basic principles of steady spatial development of the European continent. We should mention that the suggested scheme generalized the acquired experience of city settling and city building in the Republic, and originated not on the spot. The sustainable development of the Republic is mainly based on the ecological safety principle, because of the high population density in urban area (9 people per 10000 km2 (while the total area of 18,3 km2 houses 17 urban settlements). Water resources and their quality are the key component of ecologic safety; surface waters and rivers are of special importance for the Chuvash Republic. Four of the nine towns are located on the bank of the Volga River, 2 towns are on the right bank of the Sura River, and one town is in-between the Tsivil River and only one town is in watershed area and has no constant water stream. Most of the rural settlements are placed in the vicinity of small rivers, and rivers serve as good water sources for the towns of the Republic. The average water consumption per person is 268 liters a day in urban area, 105 liters in rural area.

However, the research of water in the Republic shows that the water quality in different water basins does not correspond to the established norms. The situation is particularly acute in Cheboksary, where people use Volga waters. The water in the Cheboksary water basin is of 2nd class of water purity, with oxygen rate of 8,48 mg/l, cases of oxygen scarcity were not observed. The most typical water polluting chemicals are ammonium nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, iron, etc. The researches on water quality determination done on the basis of sanitary-chemical indicators showed that 42% of 50 investigated water samples and 21,9% of 41 water samples investigated with reference to the microbiological indicators did not correspond to the hygienic norms. So, it is obvious that water samples taken from the water reservoirs and pipelines also showed deviations from norm.

The territorial analysis of the diseases spread among the urban population leads us to the supposition that human health is affected by drinking water. Summing up the results of the research done, we can conclude that the quality of drinking water in the Republic depends on the following 3 factors:

  • Anthropogenic pollution of water (gross volume of waste water was 138,05 million m3 in 2003 (in 2002 - 135,01 million m3, in 2001- 144,43 million m3);
  • Lack of water protection zones and environmental sanitation activities (in 2003, 31 of the 68 observed water pipelines did not correspond to the hygienic norms, one of the causes is lack of sanitation zones – 18);
  • Insufficient sanitary reliability of the drinking water supply and scarcity of water resources (the power of the present day drainage treatment plants of the Republic – 160,16 million m3 per year, including biological purification – 156,03 million m3 per year).