Improving water statistics and water accounts

In this study, granted by Eurostat, it is investigated by Statistics Netherlands how the data from the National Groundwater Register can be used and how data on the use of so-called ‘industrial water’ or ‘other water’ can be compiled. Both subjects are relevant parts of the statistics on water use within the economy as well as the water accounts (SEEA-Water).

The use of groundwater by economic activities is an important part of the statistics on abstraction and use of water. Up to now, data on ground water abstractions (withdrawal) were not completely observed and can be improved for several aspects. The National Groundwater Register (LGR) captures large number of individual groundwater abstractions within the country. In this study the coverage rate of the LGR is analysed and confronted with other data sources to validate the already known abstractions and test it for completeness and usability. In this research the data is evaluated as well as the opportunity for coupling with existing spatially explicit data is tested.

Another important item within the water use statistics is the use of ‘industrial water’ or ‘other water’ by companies, mainly within the manufacturing industry. Industrial water is defined as the quantities of semi-products, demineralised water, etcetera, that are delivered by either a specialized industrial water supply company or by another (industrial) company, or by a water supply company (utility) via a dedicated water supply network (conduit). In this project, important steps are taken to improve the coverage and treatment of ‘industrial water’ in the statistics. This was done by an extra survey among companies that report their water use via the Annual Environmental Reports. This survey revealed that in the years 2003-2012, up to 75 million m3 of ‘industrial water’ is yearly used in addition to drinking water. The split up of drinking water and ‘industrial water’ was used in a renewed calculation and estimation of drinking water use by the industrial sectors involved.