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Progress on Water-Use Efficiency (SDG target 6.4)

Increasing water-use efficiency, for example by repairing leaking water distribution systems, using less thirsty crops and investing in new technology, results in more sustainable food and industrial production systems. Water savings are also often associated with energy savings, as less water needs to be extracted, treated, transported and heated.

  • 19 $/m3 is the value added from the use of water by people and the economy at the global level (SDG indicator 6.4.1, 2018)

Available data series: 2000-2018
Number of countries (and areas) reporting in the last five years: 169
Proportion of world population covered by reporting in the last five years:100%

Proportion of world land area covered by reporting in the last five years: 99%
Learn more about the indicator here
Read the latest progress report here

SDG target 6.4 is: ‘By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.’

To track progress towards the target, SDG indicator 6.4.1 monitors the change in water-use efficiency over time, measured as the ratio of dollar value added to the volume of water used.

Global status of indicator 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time (2017-2018)

US dollars per cubic meter (USD/m3)

Progress over time of indicator 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time

Status in different countries (or areas) of indicator 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time (2017-2018)

  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Eastern and South-Eastern Asia
  • Central and Southern Asia
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Europe and Northern America
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand)
  • Northern Africa and Western Asia

Status in different SDG regions of indicator 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time (2018)

Status of different components of indicator 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time

Water-use efficiency and its components, by sector, for all reporting countries (and areas) in the world (2018)
Water-use efficiency for ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishing’ only takes into account the proportion of gross value added that comes from irrigated agriculture, since that activity is associated with water withdrawal (other activities are rain-fed).
Water resources and withdrawal and gross value added to GDP, by source and sector, for all reporting countries (and areas) in the world (2014)
The below chart displays the average situation for all reporting countries (and areas) in the world. The column ‘Internal renewable water resources, by source’ does not display the overlap between groundwater and surface water. The column ‘Water withdrawal, by source’ includes freshwater sources but no non-conventional sources (e.g. desalinated water, direct use of treated wastewater and direct use of agricultural drainage water).

Source data indicator 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time

Country (or area), region and world data for the latest year of reporting: 2017 - 2018

Country (or area), SDG region, worldYear 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time
Overall Agriculture, forestry and fishing Industry Services
Afghanistan20180.93
Albania201810.33
Algeria201814.63
Angola2018142
Antigua and Barbuda2018118.43
Argentina201813.26
Armenia20183.58
Australia201870.20
Austria2018103.41
Azerbaijan20183.87
Bahrain201878.07
Bangladesh20186.16
Barbados201852.43
Belarus201833.15
Belgium2018107.71
Belize201813.85
Benin201829.35
Bhutan20186.26
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)201813.71
Botswana201874.45
Brazil201822.62
Bulgaria20188.63
Burkina Faso201811.76
Burundi20186.26
Cabo Verde201854.04
Cambodia20187.63
Cameroon201824.82
Canada201842.39
Central African Republic201817.35
Chad20189.51
Chile20182.37
China201823.54
Colombia201819.30
Comoros201872.69
Congo201897.52
Costa Rica201822.44
Côte d'Ivoire201825.46
Croatia201860.08
Cuba201812.60
Cyprus201864.36
Czechia2018113.71
Democratic People's Republic of Korea20181.66
Democratic Republic of the Congo201847.85
Denmark2018262.21
Dominican Republic20188.01
Ecuador20189.18
Egypt20184.58
El Salvador201810.23
Eritrea20187.22
Estonia201813.75
Eswatini20183.60
Ethiopia20184.87
Fiji201843.05
Finland2018113.34
France201883.01
Gabon201895.14
Gambia201811.15
Georgia201810.78
Germany2018111.60
Ghana201829.86
Greece201817.12
Guatemala201818.94
Guinea20189.13
Guinea-Bissau20183.15
Guyana20181.96
Haiti20184.94
Honduras201812.53
Hungary201825.08
Iceland201860.57
India20183.02
Indonesia20183.94
Iran (Islamic Republic of)20184.55
Iraq20185.42
Ireland2018229.46
Israel2018138.97
Italy201849.37
Jamaica20188.85
Japan201856.70
Jordan201835.64
Kazakhstan20187.20
Kenya201811.26
Kuwait2018102.12
Kyrgyzstan20180.86
Lao People's Democratic Republic20181.87
Latvia2018140.68
Lebanon201825.62
Lesotho201849.75
Liberia20184.59
Libya20184.33
Lithuania2018156.80
Luxembourg20181096.77
Madagascar20180.77
Malawi20183.26
Malaysia201858.39
Mali20181.85
Malta2018178.83
Mauritania20183.92
Mauritius201818.85
Mexico201813
Mongolia201822.89
Montenegro201821.93
Morocco20188.73
Mozambique20187.90
Myanmar20181.84
Namibia201835.31
Nepal20182.24
Netherlands201890.27
New Zealand201834.48
Nicaragua20186.77
Niger20183.67
Nigeria201831.27
North Macedonia201810.02
Norway2018120.82
Oman201837.87
Pakistan20181.55
Panama201848.36
Paraguay201814.20
Peru201811.88
Philippines20183.56
Poland201846.26
Portugal201829.94
Puerto Rico201828.85
Qatar2018200.85
Republic of Korea201853.81
Republic of Moldova20187.96
Romania201827.91
Russian Federation201819.29
Rwanda201835.27
Sao Tome and Principe20187.69
Saudi Arabia201828.37
Senegal20187.40
Serbia20185.94
Seychelles201897.08
Sierra Leone20188.70
Slovakia2018138.29
Slovenia201842.90
Somalia20180.20
South Africa201814.32
South Sudan201820.02
Spain201836.76
Sri Lanka20186.06
State of Palestine201834.08
Sudan20182.64
Suriname20187.13
Sweden2018198.51
Switzerland2018339.72
Syrian Arab Republic20181
Tajikistan20180.91
Thailand20187.40
Timor-Leste20182.28
Togo201813.63
Trinidad and Tobago201858.10
Tunisia201810.16
Turkey201814.08
Turkmenistan20181.53
Uganda201832.44
Ukraine20186.59
United Arab Emirates201873.92
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland2018324.34
United Republic of Tanzania20187.50
United States of America201852.28
Uruguay201813.33
Uzbekistan20181.42
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)20187.80
Viet Nam20182.52
Western Sahara201717
Yemen20185.15
Zambia201813.31
Zimbabwe20184.83
Australia and New Zealand201861.97
Central and Southern Asia20182.95
Eastern and South-Eastern Asia201818.86
Europe and Northern America201855.77
Latin America and the Caribbean201811.89
Northern Africa and Western Asia201812.31
Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand)201879.78
Sub-Saharan Africa201812.89
World201819.36
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