Annual freshwater withdrawals, domestic (% of total freshwater withdrawal) - Country Ranking - Africa

Definition: Annual freshwater withdrawals refer to total water withdrawals, not counting evaporation losses from storage basins. Withdrawals also include water from desalination plants in countries where they are a significant source. Withdrawals can exceed 100 percent of total renewable resources where extraction from nonrenewable aquifers or desalination plants is considerable or where there is significant water reuse. Withdrawals for domestic uses include drinking water, municipal use or supply, and use for public services, commercial establishments, and homes. Data are for the most recent year available for 1987-2002.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, AQUASTAT data.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Djibouti 84.21 2014
2 Central African Republic 82.90 2014
3 Equatorial Guinea 79.31 2014
4 Congo 69.57 2014
5 Dem. Rep. Congo 68.01 2014
6 Seychelles 65.69 2014
7 Gabon 60.89 2014
8 Liberia 54.36 2014
9 Togo 52.66 2014
10 Sierra Leone 52.31 2014
11 Uganda 51.49 2014
12 Comoros 48.00 2014
13 Burkina Faso 45.92 2014
14 Lesotho 45.66 2014
15 Angola 45.27 2014
16 Côte d'Ivoire 41.05 2014
17 Botswana 40.72 2014
18 Guinea 37.65 2014
19 The Gambia 37.46 2014
20 Kenya 36.86 2014
21 Algeria 35.85 2014
22 Benin 31.54 2014
23 Nigeria 31.27 2014
24 Niger 29.93 2014
25 Mauritius 29.52 2014
26 South Africa 27.00 2014
27 Namibia 25.35 2014
28 Rwanda 24.00 2014
29 Ghana 23.93 2014
30 Mozambique 19.22 2014
31 Zambia 18.45 2014
32 Burundi 17.01 2014
33 Cameroon 16.67 2014
34 Tunisia 15.01 2014
35 Guinea-Bissau 13.14 2014
36 Libya 12.01 2014
37 Zimbabwe 11.90 2014
38 Chad 11.79 2014
39 Egypt 11.54 2014
40 Malawi 10.55 2014
41 Ethiopia 10.30 2014
42 Morocco 10.19 2014
43 Tanzania 10.17 2014
44 Cabo Verde 7.27 2014
45 Mauritania 7.07 2014
46 Eritrea 5.33 2014
47 Senegal 4.41 2014
48 Sudan 3.53 2014
49 Swaziland 2.30 2014
50 Mali 2.06 2014
51 Madagascar 1.45 2014
52 Somalia 0.45 2014

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Development Relevance: UNESCO estimates that in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, public water withdrawal represents just 50-100 liters (13 to 26 gallons) per person per day. In regions with insufficient water resources, this figure may be as low as 20-60 (5 to 15 gallons) liters per day. People in developed countries on average consume about 10 times more water daily than those in developing countries. While some countries have an abundant supply of fresh water, others do not have as much. UN estimates that many areas of the world are already experiencing stress on water availability. Due to the accelerated pace of population growth and an increase in the amount of water a single person uses, it is expected that this situation will continue to get worse. The ability of developing countries to make more water available for domestic, agricultural, industrial and environmental uses will depend on better management of water resources and more cross-sectorial planning and integration. According to World Water Council, by 2020, water use is expected to increase by 40 percent, and 17 percent more water will be required for food production to meet the needs of the growing population. The three major factors causing increasing water demand over the past century are population growth, industrial development and the expansion of irrigated agriculture. Water productivity is an indication only of the efficiency by which each country uses its water resources. Given the different economic structure of each country, these indicators should be used carefully, taking into account a country's sectorial activities and natural resource endowments. According to Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) agriculture accounts for more than 70 percent of freshwater drawn from lakes, rivers and underground sources. Most is used for irrigation which provides about 40 percent of the world food production. Poor management has resulted in the salinization of about 20 percent of the world's irrigated land, with an additional 1.5 million ha affected annually. There is now ample evidence that increased hydrologic variability and change in climate has and will continue to have a profound impact on the water sector through the hydrologic cycle, water availability, water demand, and water allocation at the global, regional, basin, and local levels. Properly managed water resources are a critical component of growth, poverty reduction and equity. The livelihoods of the poorest are critically associated with access to water services. A shortage of water in the future would be detrimental to the human population as it would affect everything from sanitation, to overall health and the production of grain. Freshwater use by continents is partly based on several socio-economic development factors, including population, physiography, and climatic characteristics. It is estimated that in the coming decades the most intensive growth of water withdrawal is expected to occur in Africa and South America (increasing by 1.5-1.6 times), while the smallest growth will take place in Europe and North America (1.2 times). The Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) has reported that many countries lack adequate legislation and policies for efficient and equitable allocation and use of water resources. Progress is, however, being made with the review of national legislation and enactment of new laws and regulations.

Limitations and Exceptions: A common perception is that most of the available freshwater resources are visible (on the surfaces of lakes, reservoirs and rivers). However, this visible water represents only a tiny fraction of global freshwater resources, as most of it is stored in aquifers, with the largest stocks stored in solid form in the Antarctic and in Greenland's ice cap. The data on freshwater resources are based on estimates of runoff into rivers and recharge of groundwater. These estimates are based on different sources and refer to different years, so cross-country comparisons should be made with caution. Because the data are collected intermittently, they may hide significant variations in total renewable water resources from year to year. The data also fail to distinguish between seasonal and geographic variations in water availability within countries. Data for small countries and countries in arid and semiarid zones are less reliable than those for larger countries and countries with greater rainfall. Caution should also be used in comparing data on annual freshwater withdrawals, which are subject to variations in collection and estimation methods. In addition, inflows and outflows are estimated at different times and at different levels of quality and precision, requiring caution in interpreting the data, particularly for water-short countries, notably in the Middle East and North Africa. The data are based on surveys and estimates provided by governments to the Joint Monitoring Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The coverage rates are based on information from service users on actual household use rather than on information from service providers, which may include nonfunctioning systems.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Domestic water withdrawal, sometimes used interchangeably with municipal water withdrawal, focuses on human needs (drinking, cooking, cleaning, and sanitation). Data includes renewable freshwater resources, potential over-abstraction of renewable groundwater, withdrawal of fossil groundwater, and the potential use of desalinated water or treated wastewater. It is usually computed as the total water withdrawn by the public distribution network, and includes that part of the industries, which is connected to the municipal network. The ratio between the net consumption and the water withdrawn can vary from 5 to 15 percent in urban areas and from 10 to 50 percent in rural areas. Water withdrawals can exceed 100 percent of total renewable resources where extraction from nonrenewable aquifers or desalination plants is considerable or where water reuse is significant. Withdrawals for domestic uses include drinking water, municipal use or supply, and use for public services, commercial establishments, and homes.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual