1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Water (inland)

Water use per person in selected OECD countries(a)
Graph Image for Water use per person in selected OECD countries(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Year for which data relates varies from country to country (1998-2006). For further details, see the Inland waters datacube.

Source(s): OECD Environmental Data Compendium 2008


Freshwater resources are fundamental to sustaining life, economic activities and environmental health. An OECD indicator that illustrates the intensity of water use in a number of countries is water use (abstractions) per person.

During the 2000s, water use per person varied greatly across OECD countries. The OECD average is 870 kL per person per year. The United States of America had the highest level of water use per person (1,690 kL) among the OECD countries during the recorded period. Both Australia (930 kL) and New Zealand (950 kL) also had water use above the OECD average. Denmark recorded the lowest water use per person (130 kL) of all the OECD countries.

Across the OECD member countries, there are many factors that impact levels of water use. The industrial structure of the member country as well as the scarcity of available freshwater can both affect the volume of water use. A country with a large agricultural industry, for example, will consume more water than a country with a smaller agricultural industry.


  • Inland waters glossary
  • Inland waters references

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