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Water usage

Water usage differs greatly from country to country, depending on how developed a nation is. Other influencing factors include agriculture and supply networks.

The global demand for water

The amount of water used in the world every day is very uneven. MEDCs [MEDC: A More Economically Developed Country (MEDC) has high levels of development based on economic indicators such as gross domestic product (the country's income). ] use more water than LEDCs [LEDC: A Less Economically Developed Country (LEDC) has low levels of development, based on economic indicators, such as gross domestic product (the country's income). ] - households, farming and industry all demand water.

What is the water used for?

What the water is used for depends on the country. The pie charts below show the difference in water usage in four countries.

  • In general LEDCs (like Bangaldesh and Malawi) will have most of their water used in agriculture (farming) and little in industry or domestic use. Bangladesh has farming as a large part of its economy so a large percentage of their water is used for that purpose.
  • MEDCs (like the UK) have a more significant use of water for domestic reasons. MEDCs also tend to have a higher percentage for industrial use.
  • There are exceptions. The USA is an MEDC, but it still has a high amount of water used for agriculture because there is also lot of farming across the country.

The % share of total water usage:

Pie chart showing Bangladesh's water usage
Pie chart showing the UK's water usage
Pie chart showing the USA's water usage
Pie chart showing Malawi's water usage

Back to Water and rivers index

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