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Supply and consumption of tap water
Only 3% of the drinking water supplied to the BCR is extracted from the Brussels territory. In 2014, the total consumption of tap water in the BCR amounted to 59.7 million m³. Between 2008 and 2014, it tended to increase slightly (+2%) but at a significantly lower rate than that of the population (+11%). Water consumption is divided essentially between households (69%) and the tertiary sector (28%) (in 2014).
Supply of mains water
The drinking water supply of the Brussels Region represents almost 68.3 million m3 per year (average of the period 2000-2014). This water, which is produced and supplied by Vivaqua, is mostly abstracted in the Walloon Region, from aquifers (around 85%) or surface water. Just 3.1% of the Region’s water needs (more or less 2.1 million m3) is abstracted on the regional territory, in the Brusselian aquifer from the Bois de la Cambre and the Sonian Forest.
Consumption of mains water
After having peaked in 2003, the total billed consumption by subscribers diminished across all sectors until 2008, despite a significant increase in the population over the same period (+5.7%). Between 2008 and 2014, the consumption of subscribers increased (+2%) but at a lower rate than population growth (+11%). In 2014 the water consumption of subscribers amounted to 59.7 million m3, i.e. slightly less than in 2013 (-0.3%).
The difference between the total supply of mains water to the Brussels Region and the consumption by subscribers corresponds to "non-registered water volumes". The latter generally fluctuates at around 11 to 12% of the supply to the Region. In 2012, "non-registered volumes" represented 7.8 million m3 in 2014 (11% of the supply). That encompasses water consumption by the fire service and the municipal services (cleaning of roads etc), cubic metres that are not counted by water meters as well as losses attributed to leaks in the distribution network. The latter is estimated by Hydrobru at 5% of the total, i.e. 3.5 million m3 of water per year.
Water supply to the Brussels Region and subscriber consumption (1995-2014)
Source: Vivaqua (water consumption measured through meters), BISA on the basis of data from the General Directorate of Statistics and Economic information (population on 1st January)
Share of water consumption across the various sectors
Total water consumption invoiced to the various economic sectors and Brussels households amounted to 59.7 million m3 in 2014 (source: Vivaqua, water consumption measured through meters). Almost all of this consumption relates to households (69%) and the tertiary sector (28%). In the tertiary sector, the primary consumers are the Horeca sector (5.7% of total consumption), social activities, human health services and rest homes (4.5%), wholesail and retail industry (3.7%), education (2.6%) and public institutions (2.0%; 2.7% if we include the European Commission).
Water consumption in the tertiary sector (2014)
Source: Vivaqua, water consumption measured through meters (NACE classification 2003)
Other publications from Brussels Environment
Study(ies) and report(s)
HYDROBRU, various years. « Rapport d’activités annuel » (.pdf, in French and Dutch only)
VIVAQUA, various years. « Rapport d’activités annuel » (.pdf, in French and Dutch only)
Plan(s) and programme(s)