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Water Resources

Map No. 102

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Water resources here include only freshwater, because saline (sea) water requires treatment before most uses. Only 43 600 cubic kilometres of freshwater is available as a resource each year, despite more than twice this amount falling as precipitation (rain and snow). Much is lost through evaporation. Those countries with higher rainfall often have larger water resources. Of all the water available, the regions of South America and Asia Pacific have the most.

People living in Kuwait use sea water that is processed at a desalination plant. As such Kuwait has no area on this map because there are no freshwater resources there.

"The Amazonian basin, where ten of the twenty largest rivers in the world are to be found ... represents one fifth of the entire fresh water reserves of the planet. " Brazilian Government’s Ministry of External Affair, 2002

Territory size shows the proportion of all worldwide freshwater resources found there.


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