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close this bookUsing Water Efficiently - Technological Options (World Bank, 1993)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAbstract
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentSectoral water allocation in countries and regions
Open this folder and view contentsWater use efficiency
Open this folder and view contentsMeasures to improve efficiency: Technological options
Open this folder and view contentsRiver basin management: When is low efficiency appropriate ?
View the documentConclusions and policy recommendations
View the documentReferences
View the documentAnnex I - Sectoral water allocation by country (145 countries)
View the documentAnnex II - Implications of increasing water use efficiency in a basin (a numeric example)
View the documentDistributors of world bank publications

Sectoral water allocation in countries and regions

Worldwide, agriculture accounts for more than two-thirds of the total water resources used. Industrial uses amount to 23 percent and domestic use 8 percent. Table 1 shows global water allocation by sector in the six regions of the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, North & Central America, and Oceania.

Among the six regions, Africa takes the lead in allocating water to agriculture (88 percent), followed by Asia (86 percent). In this sense, both regions show a water use pattern that is strikingly different from the other regions. Industrial consumption dominates water use in Europe. This, in comparison to other regions, has led to a greater emphasis on reducing environmental pollution. South America and Oceania have the highest proportions of domestic water use.

Annex I (Table A1) presents information on sectoral water allocations in 145 countries. Data are obtained from the World Resources, 1990/91. Table A2 (a, b, c) ranks countries according to the share of water used in each sector.

Table A2a (agriculture): Most countries where agriculture uses more than 90 percent of water are in Asia and Africa. They include Pakistan, Sri Laruka, India and Nepal in Asia, and Sudan, Madagascar, Mali, Somalia and Senegal in Africa. A few South American countries, such as Guyana, Uruguay and Ecuador also have extremely high water allocations to agriculture. Countries which have allocated more than 60 percent of their water resources to agriculture are almost exclusively developing countries. Developed countries typically use less than 50 percent of their water resources in the agricultural sector.

Table A2b, A2c (industrial and domestic): Typically, countries with more than 70 percent of water distributed to industrial uses are developed rather than developing. Belgium and Finland have the highest percentage (85 percent) of water use in industry. Table A2c suggests that small states, such as Equatorial Guinea, Malta, Bahrain, Gabon, Kuwait and Togo, have a high share of water (more than 60 percent) allocated to domestic uses. This is due to the fact that agricultural activities are minor in such countries. While the complete data are given in Annex I, a few examples of countries with the highest (or the lowest) percentage of water use in each sector are shown in Table A2d.

Table 1 Global Sectoral Water Allocation (%)

Region

Domestic

Industry

Agriculture

Africa

7

5

88

Asia

6

8

86

Oceania

18

16

66

South America

18

23

59

N/Cen.America

9

42

49

Europe

13

54

33

World

8

23

69

Source: World Resources Institute, 1990/91

There has been a noticeable trend of water allocation away from agriculture to urban uses. However, agriculture will continue to dominate water use for the foreseeable future. Table 2 presents some estimates of changes over time (both past and projected) in sectoral water allocation for a small sample of countries.

Although agriculture dominates water demands, especially in developing countries, water use efficiency in agriculture has always been lower than in other sectors. In many countries, water resources are becoming a limiting factor in agricultural production and economic development. Therefore, examining and improving WUE in various sectors, especially agriculture, is of crucial importance.

Table 2 Sectoral Water Allocations - historical/prediction comparison

Country

Year

Agri. (%)

Indus. (%)

Domes. (%)

Total (b.m³)

Egypt

1990

88.0

5.0

7.0

59


2000

86.7

8.8

4.5

69

Israel

1990

79.0

5.0

16.0

2


2000

67.4

6.5

26.1

2

India

1974

92.7

4.0

3.3

424


1990

93.0

4.0

3.0

552


2000

91.6

4.0

4.4

750

Turkey

1990

74.6

11.8

13.6

43


2000

71.9

12.6

15.5

58

China

1980

88.2

10.3

1.5

444


1988

85.5

11.0

3.5

458


1990

87.0

7.0

6.0

-

U.S.

1975

48.7

43.4

7.9

468


1990

42.0

46.0

12.0

-

F. USSR 1975

63.2

32.0

4.8

331



1990

65.0

29.0

6.0

-

Japan

1981

65.8

18.2

16.0

88


1990

50.0

33.0

17.0

-

World

1975

74.0

21.0

5.0

3000


1990

69.0

23.0

8.0

-

Sources:
a) Proceedings of the June Water Workshop, 1991.
b) World Resources, 1990/91