FAO AQUASTAT Information

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Africa Groundwater Atlas >> Resource pages >> FAO AQUASTAT Information page

FAO AQUASTAT is the FAO’s global water information system, providing data for countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It is widely used as a source of information on groundwater use.

Each AQUASTAT country profile contains general information on the geographical and economic situation of the country, and more detailed information on surface water and groundwater resources, water use, and water management.

The AQUASTAT database reports water statistics at a country level, with a special emphasis on irrigation and agricultural water. The statistics are based on the best available data and analysis techniques, but even so, there are data gaps for many countries. These gaps are often worse for groundwater, because groundwater use is more difficult to measure directly than surface water use. AQUASTAT uses modelling to fill in some of these data gaps. It should be recognised that these modelled data may not be accurate.

We have included some key FAO AQUASTAT groundwater and other water statistics in the country pages of this Atlas, as they provide a very useful overview of the extent of groundwater resources and use in each country, compared to surface water resources, and allow comparison between countries. Further information and explanations of the AQUASTAT variables presented here in the Atlas are given on the FAO AQUASTAT information page.

This is especially the case for agriculture, as large scale irrigation schemes, which are easier to measure, are usually based on surface water. By contrast, groundwater-based irrigation and other agricultural use in Africa is dominantly small-scale and managed by individual farmers or communities, and so is very difficult to measure and record.

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