Water availability indicator: data sources and methods, chapter 2

2. Description and rationale of the Water Availability indicator

2.1 Description

The Water Availability indicator compares the amount of fresh water withdrawn from rivers for human use to the volume of water in Canadian rivers.

2.2 Rationale

Growing urban populations, economic development and weather variability all put pressure on Canada's freshwater supplies, making water availability a concern in some communities. As the proportion of water withdrawn for human activities increases, water availability may be threatened, suggesting future water scarcity. Identifying threatened regions is important to ensuring that an adequate amount of water is available to sustain human populations, economic development and healthy aquatic ecosystems.

This indicator, based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Water Stress Indicator, estimates how water demand by humans is impacting the water supply in rivers and identifies areas where water demand may be putting too much pressure on these supplies.

Page details

Date modified: