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Indicator 6.6.1 – Water-related ecosystems

Water-related ecosystems account for only 0.01 percent of the world’s water, cover approximately 0.8 per cent of the Earth’s surface and provide a habitat for almost 10 per cent of the world’s known species. Indicator 6.6.1 tracks changes in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time, and includes data on the spatial extent of water-related ecosystems and the quantity and quality of water within them.

  • --- % At the global level, not enough country data were reported in 2016 to estimate the change in the extent of water-related ecosystems (SDG indicator 6.6.1)
Data provider:
Available data series:
Proportion of UN Member States reporting in-situ data on the indicator during the last 5 years:
Proportion of UN Member States for which earth observation data on spatial extent of open waters are available:
Learn more about the indicator and how it is monitored
Read the latest progress report for an analysis of the current status

Due to the multi-faceted nature of Indicator 6.6.1, a progressive methodology is proposed which promotes country-derived data collection to be complimented by other globally available datasets such as earth observations. Used in conjunction with national knowledge and data, global earth observations which are validated by countries can enhance an understanding of how and why water related-ecosystems are changing. National in-situ data are important to better understand the state of national freshwater ecosystems and which action to take to drive progress towards target 6.6.

Global status of Indicator 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time (2016)

The data displayed in the below map are based on earth observations, and illustrates the gain or loss in water body extent compared to the baseline year period of 2001–2005. It is important to note that the data set represents all open water bodies, including lakes, rivers, estuaries and artificial water bodies. Spatial extent changes indicate only one aspect of extent change and should ideally be understood together with information on changes to water quantity and quality, both of which are generated in country. Users should note that an increase or decrease in spatial extent does not equate to a positive or negative result. Users are encouraged to assess the spatial extent data available sub-nationally (at basin level) though the sdg661.app. Changes in spatial extent occurring at the basin level need to be locally investigated to determine the exact cause driving the change.

Percentage change from baseline reference 2001-2005 (%)

Progress on Indicator 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

For the purpose of SDG 6 monitoring, the period 2001-2005 has been defined as the baseline, from which change is measured.

Status in different countries (or areas) on Indicator 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time (2016)

The data displayed in the below chart are based on earth observations, and show the change in water body extent in different countries (compared to the baseline year period of 2001–2005).

  • 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 on Indicator 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time (2016)

The data displayed in the below chart are based on earth observations, and show the change in water body extent in different regions (compared to the baseline year period of 2001–2005).

Status on different components of Indicator 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

The below charts are based on nationally reported data on the spatial extent, quantity and quality of different types of water-related ecosystems. Currently, not enough country data are available to produce statistically sound regional or global estimates. Therefore, the below charts show data for individual unnamed countries, to illustrate the potential for data disaggregation.

Spatial extent of wetlands, rivers and open water bodies, from national data, for one country (as an example)

Water quantity in rivers, open water bodies and aquifers, from national data, for one country (as an example)

Proportion of water bodies with good water quality, in rivers, open water bodies and aquifers, from national data, for one country (as an example). The data are coming from SDG indicator 6.3.2 on ambient water quality.

Source data Indicator 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

Country (or area), regional and world data for the latest year of reporting: 2007 - 2020

Country (or area), region, world 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time
YearSpatial extent of water-related ecosystems from earth observation data, Lakes, rivers, estuaries and artificial water bodies (km2)Spatial extent of water-related ecosystems from national data, Total (km2)Water quantity from national data, Total (10^6 m3/year)Water quality from national data, Overall (Indicator 6.3.2 Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality, %)
Afghanistan2016580.46
Albania2016518.50
Algeria2016421.77
American Samoa20160.68
Andorra2016-20200.62473.3911.8086
Angola2016913.35
Anguilla20161.61
Antigua and Barbuda2016-202033.530
Argentina2016-202027897.8918
Armenia20161333.45
Aruba20161.11
Australia2016-202014511.3987.70
Austria2015-2020633.4985840.40178841.4081.80
Azerbaijan201672059.04
Bahamas20161076.81
Bahrain201652.38
Bangladesh20164681.36
Barbados20160.20
Belarus2016-20201804.6088.90
Belgium2016157.95
Belize2016-2020281.4879
Benin2016-2020119.8189.40
Bermuda201626.72
Bhutan201675.43
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)201612019.80
Bosnia and Herzegovina2016-2020197.8230.60
Botswana2016-2020383.65221199.6978
Brazil2016-2020104863.4771
British Virgin Islands20165.48
Brunei Darussalam201662.37
Bulgaria2016-20201028.1565.60
Burkina Faso2016-2020370.0697.70
Burundi2016-20201955.15100
Cabo Verde2016280.67
Cambodia20163431.14
Cameroon20161875.94
Canada2016-2020698030.2782.20
Cayman Islands20164.66
Central African Republic2016431.46
Chad20161360.09
Chile2016-202012106.6584
China2016111859.06
China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region2016116.22
Colombia20169438.51
Comoros20165.61
Congo20161675.35
Cook Islands20161.31
Costa Rica2016-2020170.3868.50
Côte d'Ivoire2016-20201812.4680
Croatia2016-2020630.1555.90
Cuba20162543.54
Cyprus2016-202013.3761.40
Czechia2016-2020503.7088.20
Democratic People's Republic of Korea20161672.69
Democratic Republic of the Congo2016-202035865.0566
Denmark2016-20202416.5253.40
Djibouti2016151.31
Dominica20160.32
Dominican Republic2016-2020478.4970.60
Ecuador20162121.10
Egypt20166376.32
El Salvador2016-2020340.0759.70
Equatorial Guinea2016112.82
Eritrea201647.54
Estonia2013-20202063.1499687.0616122.8775.70
Eswatini2016-202056.1787.50
Ethiopia2016-20206896.8996.80
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)2016170.62
Faroe Islands20160
Fiji2016-2020525.8883788556.13100
Finland2012-202030116.206147696.80
France2016-20203689.8478.90
French Guiana2016519.53
French Polynesia2016264.99
Gabon2016-20202133.6593.60
Gambia2016742.35
Georgia2016-2020308.2592
Germany2016-20173838.0939
Ghana20166064.95
Gibraltar20160.24
Greece2016-20202903.2540.60
Greenland201637637.35
Grenada20161.33
Guadeloupe20162.75
Guam20161.52
Guatemala20161153.56
Guernsey20160.45
Guinea2016-2017169.0280.90
Guinea-Bissau201655.38
Guyana2016-20201421.2867.80
Haiti2016212.19
Holy See20160
Honduras2016836.29
Hungary2016-20201144.9159.30
Iceland2016-20202677.91100
India201616686.13
Indonesia201630901.51
Iran (Islamic Republic of)201657712.02
Iraq20164210.86
Ireland2016-20201528.3259.40
Isle of Man20160.93
Israel2016457.46
Italy20163627.02
Jamaica2016-202019.8357.20
Japan2015-20207910.77214000000000037.50
Jersey20160.36
Jordan2016-2020446.72100
Kazakhstan2016-2020158805.7763.90
Kenya2016-202011584.41381820.5686.50
Kiribati2016140.46
Kuwait201684.48
Kyrgyzstan20167249.77
Lao People's Democratic Republic2016-20201656.4080
Latvia2012-2020964.651755.6025802.7066.50
Lebanon2016-201717.5350
Lesotho2016-202049.40100
Liberia2016-2020197.9950
Libya201659.64
Liechtenstein2016-20200.5780
Lithuania2016-2020916.7898.70
Luxembourg20165.31
Madagascar2016-20202542.5590.70
Malawi201623757.17
Malaysia2010-20163907.335520.6414500000000000
Maldives201616.72
Mali2016-20201493.2770
Malta20162.80
Marshall Islands2016-201719.830.040.15100
Martinique20161.43
Mauritania2016152.75
Mauritius201616.28
Mayotte20162.82
Mexico2016-202010345.5954.90
Micronesia (Federated States of)20164.16
Monaco20160
Mongolia201614021.39
Montenegro2016-2020262.5288.10
Montserrat20160.58
Morocco2016-2017630.891834079.20
Mozambique201611620.37
Myanmar20166533.38
Namibia2016-2017289.8078.60
Nauru20160
Nepal2016203.40
Netherlands2015-20201042.493627.6095.90
New Caledonia201671.76
New Zealand2016-2020707272.20
Nicaragua20169761.65
Niger2016-2020326.0660
Nigeria2016-20204212.8712.50
Niue20160
Norfolk Island20160
North Macedonia2016-2020502.8570
Northern Mariana Islands20163.38
Norway2016-202017590.13100
Oman2016235.96
Pakistan20162468.87
Palau20161.91
Panama2016-2020729.8064.40
Papua New Guinea20165280.96
Paraguay2016-20203407.6171.60
Peru2016-202012763.1799.2025.40
Philippines20166102.27
Pitcairn20160
Poland2015-20203552.054204.45167000000000096.10
Portugal2016773.56
Puerto Rico201628.64
Qatar2016166.06
Republic of Korea2016-20201820.0293.30
Republic of Moldova2016290.05
Romania2016-20202419.155477.2710075.3583.70
Russian Federation2016-2020546991.9596
Rwanda2016-20201505.1578.80
Saint Helena20161.18
Saint Kitts and Nevis20161.68
Saint Lucia20160.36
Saint Pierre and Miquelon201616.78
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines20161.74
Samoa2016-20205.17100
San Marino20160
Sao Tome and Principe20160
Saudi Arabia20161481.16
Senegal2016-20201269.6644.40
Serbia2016-2020566.2183.10
Seychelles20165.85
Sierra Leone2016-2020155.9041.70
Singapore2016-202036.98100
Slovakia2016-2020265.9157.20
Slovenia2015-202042.13472.653602683.90
Solomon Islands2016309.67
Somalia201656.60
South Africa2016-20203415.3758455.30563750699052.10
South Sudan2016-2017594.40100
Spain20163222.98
Sri Lanka20161025.46
Sudan2016-20181571.87178875969.8086.10
Suriname20161866.88
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands20160
Sweden2015-202035683.8231857.1148.40
Switzerland2007-20201367.2943500233643.4061.10
Syrian Arab Republic20161009.77
Tajikistan20161540.07
Thailand2016-20205434.4136
Timor-Leste201610.25
Togo2016-2020101.73100
Tokelau20161.74
Tonga201615.74
Trinidad and Tobago2016-202012.8587.50
Tunisia2016-2020304.9684.90
Turkey201611993.40
Turkmenistan201686383.38
Turks and Caicos Islands201635.64
Tuvalu201612
Uganda2016-202036212.660
Ukraine201613115.74
United Arab Emirates2016-2017162.3940
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland2016-20203677.9889.90
United Republic of Tanzania2016-202055582.3285.30
United States of America2016-2020154786.2533.70
United States Virgin Islands20162.73
Uruguay2016-20203973.6775.90
Uzbekistan20169345.05
Vanuatu201665.67
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)201610397.65
Viet Nam20165614.44
Wallis and Futuna Islands20160.38
Western Sahara20168.66
Yemen2016917.30
Zambia2016-201711941.0755534.50193120
Zimbabwe2016-20203489.3583.30
Australia and New Zealand2016-202021583.3987.10
Central and Southern Asia2016346773.90
Eastern and South-Eastern Asia2016201537.35
Europe and Northern America2016-20201583218.8375.80
Latin America and the Caribbean2016-2020230357.6357
Northern Africa and Western Asia2016103868.32
Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand)20166723.80
Sub-Saharan Africa2016-2020233457.3370.50
World2016-20202727520.5471.90
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