The AQUASTAT core database provides the platform for organizing and presenting over 180 variables and indicators on water resources and their use which include water withdrawal, wastewater, pressure on water resources, irrigation and drainage, and few components on environment and health. They can be searched and extracted, along with their metadata, for 200+ countries and for different regions over an extensive time period (from 1960 to 2017).
The current database regroups data per 5-year period and shows for each variable the value for the most recent year during that period, if available. It can be queried in three languages (English, French and Spanish) on the following main categories:
- land use: total area, arable land and permanent crops
- population: total, urban and rural
- conventional water resources: surface water and groundwater
- non-conventional sources of water: wastewater, desalinated water and fossil water
- water withdrawal by sector: agricultural, domestic and industrial
- water withdrawal by source: surface water, groundwater and non-conventional water
- irrigation potential
- area under irrigation or agricultural water management
- irrigation techniques: surface, sprinkler and localized drained areas
- irrigated crops: area and yield
The update frequency of the AQUASTAT core database varies by category and sub-category, as follows:
- Geography and population category: Every year (through FAOSTAT for land use and population and undernourishment, World Bank for GDP, UNDP for HDI and GII).
- Water resources category: These are long-term average annual values and therefore remain the same over the years. A comprehensive review had been undertaken in 2014.
- Water use category and irrigation and drainage development category: Depending on the country’s compilation of the AQUASTAT annual questionnaire.
- Updates of data for some specific sub-categories are being done in collaboration with others, as and when data become available, such as: Wastewater sub-category in collaboration with IWMI; access to improved drinking water source sub-category data are provided by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation.
- Some of the variables are updated during major review exercises.
Quote as: FAO. [yyyy]. AQUASTAT Core Database. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Database accessed on [yyyy/mm/dd].