Annual freshwater withdrawals, total (% of internal resources) - Country Ranking

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 agriculture and industry are total withdrawals for irrigation and livestock production and for direct industrial use (including withdrawals for cooling thermoelectric plants). 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 Bahrain 8,935.00 2014
2 Egypt 4,333.33 2014
3 United Arab Emirates 2,665.33 2014
4 Turkmenistan 1,989.32 2014
5 Saudi Arabia 986.25 2014
6 Libya 832.86 2014
7 Qatar 792.86 2014
8 Sudan 673.25 2014
9 Uzbekistan 342.72 2014
10 Mauritania 337.50 2014
11 Pakistan 333.64 2014
12 Israel 260.53 2014
13 Syrian Arab Republic 235.00 2014
14 Iraq 187.50 2014
15 Yemen 169.76 2014
16 Azerbaijan 147.50 2014
17 Jordan 137.96 2014
18 Barbados 101.25 2014
19 Netherlands 97.45 2014
20 Oman 94.36 2014
21 Malta 89.70 2014
22 Hungary 84.18 2014
23 Tunisia 78.78 2014
24 Algeria 74.89 2014
25 Iran 72.61 2014
26 Moldova 65.74 2014
27 St. Kitts and Nevis 65.00 2014
28 Puerto Rico 58.49 2014
29 Somalia 54.97 2014
30 India 52.63 2014
31 Belgium 50.04 2014
32 Serbia 49.36 2014
33 Korea 45.03 2014
34 Afghanistan 43.01 2014
35 Armenia 42.88 2014
36 Swaziland 39.47 2014
37 Morocco 35.97 2014
38 South Africa 34.60 2014
39 Bangladesh 34.16 2014
40 Spain 33.59 2014
41 Kazakhstan 32.85 2014
42 Cyprus 32.73 2014
43 Singapore 31.67 2014
44 Germany 30.88 2014
45 Dominican Republic 30.45 2014
46 Italy 29.45 2014
47 Zimbabwe 29.12 2014
48 Niger 28.10 2014
49 Lebanon 27.29 2014
50 Ukraine 26.95 2014
51 Mauritius 26.35 2014
52 Bulgaria 26.04 2014
53 Thailand 25.53 2014
54 Sri Lanka 24.53 2014
55 Portugal 24.08 2014
56 Vietnam 22.82 2014
57 Antigua and Barbuda 22.12 2014
58 China 21.61 2014
59 Poland 21.42 2014
60 Eritrea 20.79 2014
61 Mexico 19.63 2014
62 Japan 18.94 2014
63 Turkey 18.51 2014
64 Cuba 18.26 2014
65 Tajikistan 18.11 2014
66 United States 17.23 2014
67 Philippines 17.03 2014
68 Greece 16.60 2014
69 Kyrgyz Republic 16.36 2014
70 Kenya 15.55 2014
71 Romania 15.14 2014
72 France 15.12 2014
73 St. Lucia 14.30 2014
74 Timor-Leste 14.27 2014
75 El Salvador 13.55 2014
76 Estonia 13.53 2014
77 Argentina 12.94 2014
78 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 12.92 2014
79 Czech Republic 12.55 2014
80 Haiti 11.15 2014
81 Denmark 10.87 2014
82 Macedonia 10.21 2014
83 Dominica 10.00 2014
84 Trinidad and Tobago 9.98 2014
85 Ethiopia 8.65 2014
86 Mali 8.64 2014
87 Senegal 8.61 2014
88 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 8.50 2014
89 Malawi 8.41 2014
90 Botswana 8.08 2014
91 Jamaica 7.50 2014
92 Cabo Verde 7.33 2014
93 Grenada 7.05 2014
94 Burkina Faso 6.54 2014
95 Austria 6.35 2014
96 Djibouti 6.33 2014
97 Slovenia 6.19 2014
98 Tanzania 6.17 2014
99 Finland 6.13 2014
100 Nigeria 5.93 2014
101 Chad 5.86 2014
102 United Kingdom 5.66 2014
103 Indonesia 5.61 2014
104 Switzerland 4.96 2014
105 Madagascar 4.90 2014
106 Albania 4.87 2014
107 Nepal 4.79 2014
108 Namibia 4.68 2014
109 Belarus 4.45 2014
110 Slovak Republic 4.44 2014
111 Luxembourg 4.31 2014
112 Lithuania 4.08 2014
113 Australia 4.01 2014
114 Chile 4.00 2014
115 Uruguay 3.97 2014
116 Myanmar 3.31 2014
117 Ghana 3.24 2014
118 Georgia 3.14 2014
119 Guatemala 3.04 2014
120 The Gambia 3.02 2014
121 Burundi 2.86 2014
122 Venezuela 2.81 2014
123 Ecuador 2.24 2014
124 Costa Rica 2.08 2014
125 Paraguay 2.06 2014
126 Côte d'Ivoire 2.02 2014
127 Zambia 1.96 2014
128 Malaysia 1.93 2014
129 Lao PDR 1.83 2014
130 Cambodia 1.81 2014
131 Honduras 1.77 2014
132 Iceland 1.77 2014
133 Croatia 1.68 2014
134 Uganda 1.63 2014
135 New Zealand 1.59 2014
136 Mongolia 1.58 2014
137 Rwanda 1.58 2014
138 Sweden 1.57 2014
139 Ireland 1.54 2014
140 Togo 1.47 2014
141 Latvia 1.46 2014
142 Russia 1.41 2014
143 Canada 1.36 2014
144 Brazil 1.32 2014
145 Benin 1.26 2014
146 Guinea-Bissau 1.09 2014
147 Brunei 1.08 2014
148 Nicaragua 0.99 2014
149 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.92 2014
150 Mozambique 0.88 2014
151 Lesotho 0.84 2014
152 Comoros 0.83 2014
153 Peru 0.83 2014
154 Norway 0.79 2014
155 Panama 0.76 2014
156 Bolivia 0.69 2014
157 Belize 0.66 2014
158 Suriname 0.62 2014
159 Guyana 0.60 2014
160 Colombia 0.55 2014
161 Angola 0.48 2014
162 Bhutan 0.43 2014
163 Cameroon 0.35 2014
164 São Tomé and Principe 0.32 2014
165 Fiji 0.30 2014
166 Guinea 0.24 2014
167 Sierra Leone 0.13 2014
168 Gabon 0.08 2014
169 Dem. Rep. Congo 0.08 2014
170 Equatorial Guinea 0.07 2014
171 Liberia 0.07 2014
172 Central African Republic 0.05 2014
173 Papua New Guinea 0.05 2014
174 Congo 0.02 2014

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Development Relevance: 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. 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).

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: Annual freshwater withdrawals are 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 water reuse is significant. Withdrawals for agriculture and industry are total withdrawals for irrigation and livestock production and for direct industrial use (including for cooling thermoelectric plants). 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