Saku's imminent water crisis

  • 2003-09-25
  • Baltic Business News
TALLINN - Experts said last week that a shortage of groundwater would soon start limiting the growth of Saku Brewery, Estonia's largest.
"Saku's production volume could go up by a maximum of 10 percent over the next 30 years," said Karin Tiber, a senior expert in the environmental service of Harjumaa.
Tiber said that in order to increase production volume, Saku, which is located 20 kilometers from Tallinn, would have to adopt new water-saving technology.
Estonia's largest brewery is allowed to consume up to 1,920 cubic meters of groundwater a day depending on the season. The company's actual water consumption is 1,500 cubic meters of water per day.
Tiber said that Saku was not the only company facing problems due to lack of water. The Rae municipality, where Estonia's largest candymaker Kalev recently opened production, also suffers from lack of groundwater.
"People think that there is plenty of groundwater, but it is not the case," said the expert.
Tibar explained that because of the lack of water, many towns, such as Saku, could not become home to new industries such as paper, furniture and food.
Saku Brewery's production manager told the Aripaev daily that while the current water consumption of the brewery was satisfactory for the company, he admitted that in five years it might become a problem.
The company has plans to increase production of canned beer, which has become a sales hit with Finnish tourists who often buy several cases at a time.