Unesco Water
Prepared by

Prof. Igor A. Shiklomanov
Scientific Leader and Editor
State Hydrological Institute (SHI)
St. Petersburg, 1999

The present database is the first attempt to disseminate a comprehensive data set on global surface water resources, and water use for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes. Forecasts of expected water use until 2025, and a database of monthly discharges of selected rivers in the world are also included. The database is also aimed to initiate a dialogue among those concerned with freshwater resources assessment and monitoring. We therefore solicity your input to improve and upgrade the database.

The database consists of the following parts:

  • This part contains an extended summary of the monograph "World water resources at the beginning of the 21st century" and basic research results with appropriate figures, graphs and tables.

  • This part contains tables and graphs of variations (for the same long-term period from 1921 up to 1985) of renewable water resources by year; water resources distribution during a year by continent, physiographic and economic region, selected river basins and individual countries. The dynamics of river water inflow to each ocean and to the World ocean by latitudinal zones are also given.

  • This part contains data on water use for the needs of population, industry, and agriculture (total water withdrawal and water consumption). Data is also given on water losses due to additional evaporation from reservoirs during the present century (1900, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 1995) and for the future (2000, 2010, and 2025), covering all physiographic and economic regions and continents. Water use in dynamics for selected countries is demonstrated from 1950 up to 1995 and for the future. Moreover, the values of water use published in basic international and national sources are given for comparison. The dynamics of water availability (per capita) are given for the period from 1950 up to 2025 for all physiographic and economic regions and selected countries.

  • This part presents observation data on monthly and annual river runoff from major stations (more than 2000 hydrological stations) located in different countries in each continent. These data have been taken from different sources (e.g., GRDC, publications of UNESCO and of other international organizations, archives of the State Hydrological Institute, national sources, including data on special request) and have been used for the assessment of the dynamics of renewable water resources on the global scale and fresh water inflow to the World ocean.


DISCLAIMER: These datasets were prepared in the framework of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsover on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. UNESCO does not hold any liability that may arise from the use of these databases.