Fresh water can be defined as water with less than 500 parts per million (ppm) of dissolved salts. Ice sheets, polar caps, glaciers, icebergs, swamps, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater are the sources of fresh water. In this article we present the list of the top 10 countries with freshwater reserves that are listed according to the statistics of the United Nations Environment Program.
Water is essential for all socio-economic development and for maintaining healthy ecosystems. As population increases and development demands greater allocations of surface and groundwater for the domestic, agricultural and industrial sectors, the pressure on water resources intensifies, generating tensions, conflicts between users and excessive pressure on the water. environment.
The process by which water continually changes its shape and circulates between the oceans, the atmosphere, and the land is known as the water cycle. The earth is covered by three-quarters of water. 97.3% of the water is saline or salty in the oceans and seas, 3% is fresh water consisting of ice cap, groundwater, freshwater lakes, inland and salty lakes.
Top 10 countries with freshwater reserves
The main countries with freshwater resources are listed below according to statistics from the United Nations Environment Program:
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 8,233
Brazil has the highest freshwater resources in the world, representing approximately 12% of the world's freshwater resources. The Amazon region of this country contains 70%.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 4,508
Russia has the second largest reserve of fresh water, which is about 1/5 of fresh water in the world.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 3,069
The United States is the third country in the world with the largest freshwater reserve. There are more than 100 lakes; and Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie are the main ones.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 2,902
This is the fourth country in the world that has the largest reserve of fresh water. Here, fresh water is found in its diverse river system and lakes.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 2,840
This is the fifth country in the world that has the largest reserve of fresh water. Poyang Lake, located in Jiangxi Province, is the largest freshwater lake in China.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 2,132
This is the sixth country in the world that has the largest reserve of fresh water.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 2,057
It was home to thousands of kilometers of rivers and streams and more than a thousand of lakes, but unfortunately each body of water has its own specific characteristics and environmental problems.
The current water situation in Europe, according to a brochure from the European Commission, is described as: 20% of all surface water in the EU is seriously threatened with contamination; Groundwater supplies around 65% of all drinking water in Europe; 60% of European cities overexploit their groundwater resources; 50% of the wetlands have a "state of danger" due to the overexploitation of groundwater; The area of irrigated land in southern Europe has increased by 20% since 1985.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 2,019
It has one of the largest freshwater reserves, but faces increasing supply problems, particularly on the islands of Java and Sumatra, where demand is greatest. … Freshwater consumption is dominated by the agricultural sector, which uses 98% of Indonesia's water resources.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 1,913
Latin America plays a key role because it has the largest supply of fresh water in the world and Peru is the ninth country in the world with the largest reserve.
Fresh water (cubic kilometer): 1,911
India makes up 16 percent of the world's population, has only 2.5 percent of the world's land area and 4 percent of the world's freshwater resources at its disposal.
Water is fundamental to all three dimensions of sustainable development, including social needs, economic development and environmental limits, and it is also a transversal engine. It is necessary to move from a sectoral approach to a holistic one, which captures the interconnections between food, energy, health, trade, environment and water.
Shakeel Anwar, article in English