chapter  3
The Water
WithDJ Peterson
Pages 39

The Soviet Union faced two major problems with water resources, one natural, one humarunade. The volume of water used by the economy was actually much greater, but the Soviet government expended hundreds of millions of rubles annually during the 1970s and 1980s to develop recirculating supply systems. The vast schemes to harness water resources epitomized one of the core tenets of Soviet development: to overcome the imperfections of nature and to tame it for the benefit of society. Installing water pollution control equipment was only one challenge; making it work properly was another. Water quality standards were established for about 2,500 different substances in the Soviet Union and, like those regarding air quality, were strict. In July 1989, the citizens of Bryansk were warned to boil water before drinking it; after a heavy rainstorm, the city's water had become contaminated with "harmful substances" that could not be removed effectively.