The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations initiated an activity in 1993 to meet this demand with particular focus on irrigation. This resulted in the AQUASTAT Programme, the objective of which is to generate rural water use data at country and subcountry level in a systematic manner. It was decided to give priority to the countries of the African continent, in view of the urgent need to promote irrigation development for food security in most countries of the continent.
The 53 countries of the African continent were surveyed in 1994-94, which resulted in FAO Water Report 7 "Irrigation in Africa in Figures". In 1995-96 the Near East region, which concentrates most of the complex water allocation issues of the world, was surveyed, resulting in FAO Water Report 9 "Irrigation in the Near East Region in Figures". In 1997, the 15 countries of the Former Soviet Union were surveyed and FAO Water Report 15 "Irrigation in the Countries of the Former Soviet Union in Figures" was published. In 1998-99 a fourth series of countries were surveyed, covering the countries of Asia not included in the two previous reports on the Near East (Water Report 9) and on the former Soviet Union (Water Report 15). Water Report 20 is the most recent and came out in 2000. It covers the Latin American and Caribbean countries.
More information: http://www.fao.org/ag/agl/aglw/aquastat/main/index.htm
Information on quantity and quality of freshwater and its availability and use is essential for sustainable development. Considering that a major share of the world's water resources is used for agricultural production, and water development plays a key role in increasing food production and achieving food security, information on agricultural water use has assumed greater importance. Reliable data are also required for joint management of internationally shared water resources. The "thirst" for water data is ever increasing and there is indeed considerable demand for data on rural water use from national governments and development agencies.
Desalinated water corresponds to the annual amount of fresh water generated by desalination of sea
or brackish waters (annually estimated on the basis of the total capacity of water desalination
National data have been collected in different years. The aggregations should be used as indicative
The value "0" has been given by the provider in those cases where the water use is defined by the
country, but not the desalination.