Water use in a global context indicator: data sources and methods, chapter 3


3. Data

3.1 Data source

Data for this indicator come from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Water withdrawals data.

3.2 Spatial coverage

All measurements in this indicator refer to the national level.

This indicator includes data for all countries that are members of the G7, as well as Sweden and Australia. Australia was included as its population, population density, and territorial extent are similar to those of Canada. Sweden was included because its climate is similar to Canada's.

3.3 Temporal coverage

The indicator covers the most recent year of data available at the time of production within a range from 2008 to 2012. 

3.4 Data completeness

The data for this indicator are compiled by the OECD biannually. Government agencies provide data on their national renewable water volumes and the volumes abstracted. In general, data availability and quality are best for water abstractions for public supply, which represent about 15% of the total water abstracted in OECD countries. The OECD totals are the OECD Secretariat's estimates based on linear interpolations to fill missing values.

Data for the United Kingdom refer only to England and Wales.

3.5 Data timeliness

The data used for this indicator were the most recent available when they were downloaded from the OECD in May 2014. Water abstraction and population data are for 2012 for France and the United Kingdom; for 2011 for Canada and Australia; for 2010 for the United States, Germany, and Sweden; for 2009 for Japan; and for 2008 for Italy.

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