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Top 10 Countries with Freshwater Resources

Sep 20, 2018 16:22 IST
    Top 10 Countries with Freshwater Resources

    Water is essential for all socio-economic development and for maintaining healthy ecosystems. As population increases and development calls for increased allocations of groundwater and surface water for the domestic, agriculture and industrial sectors, the pressure on water resources intensifies, leading to tensions, conflicts among users, and excessive pressure on the environment.

    The process by which water continually changes its form and circulates between oceans, atmosphere and land is known as the water cycle. The earth is covered by three-fourth of water. 97.3% water is saline or salty in ocean and seas, 3% is fresh water that consisting ice-cape, ground water, fresh water lakes, inland and salt lakes.

    Fresh water (or freshwater) is any naturally occurring water except seawater and brackish water. In other words, we can say water with less than 500 parts per million (ppm) of dissolved salts. Ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater are the sources of freshwater.

    Top 10 Countries with Freshwater Resources

    The top Countries with Freshwater Resources are listed on the basis of the stats from the United Nations Environment Programme are given below:

    1. Brazil

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 8,233

    Brazil has highest freshwater resources in the world which is accounts for approximately 12% of the world’s freshwater resources. It is just because Amazon region this country contains 70% of the total freshwater.

    2. Russia

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 4,508

    Russia has second largest freshwater reserve which is approximately 1/5 of freshwater in the world.

    3. United States of America

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 3,069

    USA is the third country in the world which has largest freshwater reserve. There are more than 100 lakes; and Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, and Lake Erie are the major lakes.

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     4. Canada

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 2,902

    This is the fourth country in the world which has largest freshwater reserve. Here, freshwater is found in its diverse river system and lakes.

    5. China

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 2,840

    This is the fifth country in the world which has largest freshwater reserve. Poyang Lake which is situated in Jiangxi Province is the largest freshwater lake in China. 

    6. Colombia

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 2,132

    This is the sixth country in the world which has largest freshwater reserve.

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    7. European Union

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 2,057

    It hosted million kilometres of rivers and streams and more than a million lakes but unfortunately each waterbody has its own characteristics and specific environmental problems.

    The current water situation in Europe, according to a European Commission brochure, is described as: 20% of all surface water in the EU is seriously threatened with pollution; Ground water supplies around 65% of all Europe’s drinking water; 60% of European cities overexploit their ground water resources; 50% of wetlands have “endangered status” due to ground water overexploitation; The area of irrigated land in southern Europe has increased by 20% since 1985.

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    8. Indonesia

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 2,019

    Although , it has one of the largest freshwater reserve but recently facing increasing freshwater supply problems, particularly on the islands of Java and Sumatera where the demand for freshwater is the highest. ... Freshwater consumption is dominated by the agricultural sector, which uses 98% of Indonesia's water resources.

    9. Peru

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 1,913

    Latin America plays a key role because it has the world’s largest supply of freshwater and Peru is the ninth country in the world which has largest freshwater reserve.

    10. India

    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometre): 1,911

    India constituted 16 percent of the world’s population, has only 2.5 percent of the worlds land area and 4 percent of the world’s freshwater resources at its disposal.

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    Top 10 Countries with Freshwater Resources


    Freshwater (Cubic Kilometres)





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    Water is fundamental to the three dimensions of sustainable development, including social needs, economic development and environmental limits, and a cross-cutting driver. Moving from a sectoral approach towards a holistic one, which captures interconnections between foods, energy, health, trade, the environment and water is necessary.

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