Hide / Show Abstract

Water is essential for economic growth, human health, and the environment. Pressures on water resources are exerted by overexploitation or inefficient use, as well as by degradation of water quality. Governments around the world face significant challenges in managing their water resources effectively. The problems are multiple and complex: billions of people are still without access to safe water and adequate sanitation; and major investment is required to maintain and improve water infrastructure. In some regions competition for water is increasing among the different users and water availability is a constraint on economic development.

Also available in French
Related Indicators: placeholder
Related Databases: placeholder
Keywords:  water, resource, environment, freshwater, stock

Water withdrawals You or your institution have access to this content


Hide / Show Abstract

Water withdrawals, or water abstractions, are defined as freshwater taken from ground or surface water sources, either permanently or temporarily, and conveyed to a place of use. If the water is returned to a surface water source, abstraction of the same water by the downstream user is counted again in compiling total abstractions: this may lead to double counting. The data include abstractions for public water supply, irrigation, industrial processes and cooling of electric power plants. Mine water and drainage water are included, whereas water used for hydroelectricity generation is normally excluded. This indicator is measured in m3 per capita (a cubic meter is the equivalent of one thousand 1 litre bottles).

Also available in French
Keywords:  resources, water, abstraction, irrigation, flood, withdrawal, pipe:drought, extraction
Click to Access: 
  • DATA
Hide / Show
Visit the OECD web site