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GCOS Land ECV - Water Use

Data on water extractions and available renewable freshwater provide key information on the availability of freshwater and the amount of water stress in a country. Climate Change is projected to reduce renewable surface-water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions. In contrast, water resources are projected to increase at high latitudes. Climate change is also projected to reduce raw water quality, posing risks to drinking water quality, even with conventional treatment. The availability of freshwater plays a crucial role in food production and food security. Irrigated land covers about 20 % of cropland but contributes about 40 % of total food production. Irrigated agriculture accounts for about 70 % of all freshwater consumption worldwide and more than 80 % in developing countries. Industrial use accounts for a further 20 % or so, and domestic use for a little over 10 %. Table 2 provides a breakdown by continent. Future food needs will require intensified production, including increased irrigation of agricultural crops and a likely rise in water consumption, which makes production more sensitive to drought. In order to obtain improved quantitative and qualitative information on irrigated land and available water resources, data on their spatial distribution and change over time are essential.

Product Requirements:

  • Volume of water per year:
    • Frequency:  Annual
    • Resolution:  100 km
    • Entity (in situ):  AQUASTAT

Data Sources: