Water Supply for Ships: A Comprehensive Guide

April 8, 2024
dos buques portacontenedores de agua abasteciendo de agua las plataformas que conectan con depósitos de agua en el puerto marítimo

Water supply for ships – how is it managed? For those unfamiliar with the maritime sector, it may seem paradoxical: water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

However, the water supply for ships is a critical service that ensures the efficient running of shipboard operations and the well-being of the crew..

In this article, we will dive into the world of water supply for ships, exploring its importance, the methods used for its provision, and how specialised companies such as Interseas play a crucial role in this area..

Why is water so important for ships?

El agua is an indispensable resource on board of any vessel. It is used not just for drinking, but also for cooking, cleaning, maintaining personal hygiene of the crew, and in some cases, as in the case of the part of industrial processes that take place on the ship.

A constant and adequate supply of fresh water is essential to ensure health and well-being of everyone on board.

Challenges in Water Supply for Ships

Supplying water to ships is no easy task. Vessels operate in a highly variable environment and are often far from reliable sources of fresh water.

In addition, on-board water storage takes up valuable space which could be used for cargo or equipment.

Therefore, the methods of water supply must be efficient, reliable, and capable of meeting the needs of the specific to each vessel.

Water Supply Methods

Water supply for ships can be supplied in a variety of ways, depending on the location of the vessel, the facilities available and the specific needs of the vessel.

1. Port Provisioning Service

One of the most common ways of supplying water to ships is by through port provision services. This involves the use of port infrastructure to load fresh water directly to the vessel from land.

This method is efficient and can deliver large volumes of water in a short time., but requires the ship to be berthed in a port equipped with the necessary facilities.

2. Supply by barge

In ports where direct access to the docks not possible or where facilities are not equipped to supply water, supply barges can be used to transport fresh water from land to the ship.

This method is flexible and can be used in a variety of situationsbut generally is more expensive than direct supply in port.

3. On-Board Desalination

Some vessels are equipped with desalination plants that can convert seawater into freshwater.

This method provides a constant source of fresh water and reduces dependence on land-based supplies, but requires a significant initial investment and increases operating costs of the vessel due to energy consumption.

The Role of Interseas in Water Supply for Ships

Interseas is a provider of naval procurement and supplies and maritime transport, including the supply of water to ships. With a wide network of operations in several ports around Spain, Interseas offers customised solutions to meet water supply needs of vessels of all sizes.

Its focus on efficiency, reliability and quality of service ensures that ships can receive freshwater supplies wherever they operate, minimising downtime and optimising on-board operations.

You may be wondering… (FAQs)

How much water does a ship need?

The amount of water required varies according to the size of the ship, the length of the voyage, the number of people on board and the specific water use. An average ship might need between 20 and 50 tonnes of freshwater per day.

How does Interseas ensure the quality of the water supplied?

Interseas remains strict quality and safety standards, making regular water testing to be supplied by our suppliers and maintaining a rigorous control of sources of supply to ensure that the water is safe and potable.

We make sure that our suppliers and water supply partners have the right water supply systems in place to meet our customers’ needs. necessary certifications and strictly follow the necessary protocols. of hygiene and health in the supply.

Is it possible to recycle water on board ships?

Sí, muchos buques modernos están equipped with grey and black water treatment systems , what allows a part of the water used on board to be recycled for certain non-potable uses, thus reducing the overall need for freshwater supply.


The supply of water to ships is an essential service that requires a specialised approach to ensure that the fresh water needs of the crew and shipboard operations are met.

Companies such as ship chandlers like Interseas, with their commitment to quality, efficiency and reliability, play a vital role in the maintenance of maritime modern life.

When choosing a water supply provider, it is crucial to consider not only cost and availability, but also the quality of the service and the water itself, thus ensuring the well-being of all on board and the efficiency of the ship’s operations.

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