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Water Use

Map No. 104

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Four thousand cubic kilometres of water are used by people each year around the world, for domestic, agricultural and other industrial purposes. This does not include non-consumptive uses such as energy generation, mining, and recreation.

China, India and the United States use the most water. These are also the territories where the most people live. But water use per person is about three times higher in the United States than it is in India and China.

Whilst everybody needs water, people use hugely varying quantities. On average, people living in Central Africa each use only 2% of the water used by each person living in North America.

"... the right to water emanates from and is indispensable for an adequate standard of living as it is one of the most fundamental conditions for survival." CÚline Dubreuil, 2006

Territory size shows the proportion of worldwide water use occuring there.

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