Water Use

Water Use

 

(law), the use of water (bodies of water) that are the exclusive property of the state. In Soviet legislation the types of water use are defined by the reasons for its use (household drinking, industrial, agricultural, transportation, energy, and so forth) and the methods of use (extraction— that is, taking water from a source—as well as using bodies of water as waterways or sources of hydroelectric power or using reservoirs for dumping waste waters). In addition, water use, according to technical conditions, .may be general (without the application of hydrotechnical installations or devices that affect the condition of the water) or special (with the application of such installations or devices). Also considered in Soviet legislation are the conditions of granting the use of bodies of water (joint, if the body of water is not assigned to a specific organization or person, and sepa-rate, if the body of water is assigned to a definite organization or person), as well as the grounds that give rise to the right of water use (primary, if the use of a body of water is granted directly by the state, and secondary, if it is granted by a primary water user). The above classification is used to determine the legal regime of various bodies of water as well as the rights and duties of the water users. For example, general water use (watering livestock and bathing) can be exercised free of charge and without permission from state agencies in all bodies of water except those withdrawn from economic use and placed in separate use. Special water use demands in all instances the prior permission of state agencies, and in some instances it may involve a charge.

All water users have the right to use waters within the limits provided by legislation and, in appropriate instances, by permission of state agencies. They are obliged to fulfill the demands of the proper use and conservation of water. The strictest demands are made with respect to safeguarding water from pollution by industrial and household wastes. Legal acts have established that in designing and constructing enterprises, buildings, installations, and other economic establishments, all the necessary measures must be taken to exclude the dumping of polluted water and other industrial wastes into bodies of water. To achieve these goals certain measures have been prescribed, including the introduction into production of waterless technological processes, reuse of water at enterprises, and effective systems for purifying waste water. State inspection commissions have been prohibited from accepting the operation of new or reconstructed enterprises, workshops, and production units whose activity does not satisfy the requirements of protecting bodies of water from pollution.

Water from everyday use in industry, drainage water, and other waste water can be dumped into bodies of water only with the permission of the agencies for regulating the use and conservation of water, after coordination with such agencies as those of state sanitation inspection and conservation of fish resources. Waste water can be dumped only if this will not lead to an increase of the content of polluting substances in the body of water above the established norms and if the water user purifies the waste water down to the levels established by special agencies. If the above requirements are violated, the dumping of waste water must be limited, stopped, or prohibited, even though this may involve the discontinuation of the activity of the particular industrial installations, shops, enterprises, organizations, or institutions. In instances in which the health of the population is threatened, the state sanitation inspection agency has the right to stop the dumping of waste water and to discontinue the operation of industrial and other installations. Information on this action must be forwarded to the agencies for regulating water use and conservation. The dumping of industrial, domestic, and other wastes and refuse into bodies of water is prohibited. A system of requirements concerning water use has been established which deals with the protection of waters from pollution by wastes of water transportation, timber floating, agriculture, and other activities. For failure to observe the above requirements the guilty persons are liable to discipline or criminal or administrative penalties.

O. S. KOLBASOV

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