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OECD Factbook 2008

Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics

image of OECD Factbook 2008
OECD Factbook 2008 is the fourth edition of a comprehensive and dynamic statistical annual from the OECD. More than 100 indicators cover a wide range of areas: economy, agriculture, education, energy, environment, foreign aid, health and quality of life, industry, information and communications, population/labour force, trade and investment, taxation, public expenditure and R&D. This year, the OECD Factbook features a focus chapter on productivity. Data are provided for all OECD member countries with area totals, and in some cases, for selected non-member economies. For each indicator, there is a two-page spread. A text page includes a short introduction followed by a detailed definition of the indicator, comments on comparability of the data, an assessment of long-term trends related to the indicator, and a list of references for further information on the indicator. The next page contains a table and a graph providing - at a glance - the key message conveyed by the data. A dynamic link (StatLink) is provided for each table directing the user to a web page where the corresponding data are available in Excel® format.

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Water consumption

Freshwater resources are of major environmental and economic importance. Their distribution varies widely among and within countries. In arid regions, freshwater resources may at times be limited to the extent that demand for water can be met only by going beyond sustainable use in terms of quantity. Freshwater abstractions, particularly for public water supplies, irrigation, industrial processes and cooling of electric power plants, exert a major pressure on water resources, with significant implications for the quantity and quality of water resources. Main concerns relate to the inefficient use of water and to its environmental and socioeconomic consequences: low river flows, water shortages, salinisation of freshwater bodies in coastal areas, human health problems, loss of wetlands, desertification and reduced food production.

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