Water Business Survey

Water Business Survey

The extension of the water domain is rather large, so in order to precise the different BP and the JP that derives from them, a better understanding of the water cycle was studied.

This understanding helped to choose afterwards the water uses we would work on.

The Water Cycle

Water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, is the circuit of water movement from the atmosphere to the Earth and subsequent return to the atmosphere through various stages or processes such as precipitation, runoff, evaporation and condensation.

In order to preserve this essential resource, the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has been developed (Jønch-Clausen T. & Global Water Partnership (GWP), 2004). The purpose of the approach is to “promote the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems." Operationally, IWRM approaches involve applying knowledge from various disciplines as well as the insights from diverse stakeholders to devise and implement efficient, equitable and sustainable solutions to water and development problems. As such, IWRM is a comprehensive, participatory planning and implementation tool for managing and developing water resources in a way that balances social and economic needs, and that ensures the protection of ecosystems for future generations.


The Water Cycle can be divided in the following Domains:

  • Natural environment;
  • Natural Hazards;                                                                   Domains
  • Water uses, which compounds the following Uses:
    • Agriculture;
    • Industry;
    • Recreation;
    • Energy;                                                                    Uses
    • Transport/Navigation;
    • Urban.

Where each domain can be defined as:

  • Natural environment: Encompasses all living and non-living things, including natural forces occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof, providing conditions for development and growth as well as of danger and damage. It is an environment that includes the interaction of all living species.

Referring specifically to water environment, there are different biotopes than can be distinguished.

A biotope is an area of uniform environmental conditions providing a living place for a specific assemblage of plants and animals. The subject of a biotope is a biological community.

Therefore, some examples of biotope are continental waters (rivers, lakes, reservoirs..), coastal and maritime environments.

  • Natural Hazards: Unexpected or uncontrollable natural event of unusual intensity that will have a negative effect on the environment or people by threatening their lives or activities. Atmospheric hazards are weather-related events, whereas geologic hazards happen on or within the Earth's surface. However, it is important to underline that atmospheric hazards can trigger geologic hazards, and geologic hazards can trigger atmospheric hazards.

In the water domain, natural hazards are related to floods, droughts, tsunamis, limnic eruptions, seiche.

  • Water Uses: Are composed of the water cycle with the added influence of human activity. Dams, reservoirs, canals, aqueducts, withdrawal pipes in rivers, and groundwater wells all reveal that humans have a major impact on the water cycle. All in all, the Water uses considered in this framework are:

It was agreed among the partners that this project would intend to deliver courses for the Urban Use, of the Water Uses domain.

Therefore it can be defined as:

Urban: Urban water use is generally determined by population, its geographic location, and the percentage of water used in a community by residences, government, and commercial enterprises. It also includes water that cannot be accounted for because of distribution system losses, fire protection, or unauthorized uses. For the past two decades, urban per capita water use has leveled off, or has been increasing. The implementation of local water conservation programs and current housing development trends, have actually lowered per capita water use. However, gross urban water demands continue to grow because of significant population increases and the establishment of urban centers. Even with the implementation of aggressive water conservation programs, urban water demand is expected to grow in conjunction with increases in population.