Facts and Figures

Industrial water productivity varies greatly across countries

  • There is no simple relation between a country’s production index (volume, value and jobs) and its total industrial demand for water.
  • Water use for industry and energy is growing coincident with rapid development, transforming the patterns of water use in emerging market economies.
  • In emerging market economies industrial demand for water is expected to rise with the region’s rapid growth in manufacturing output.
  • Some industries, such as tourism, show large seasonal variations in water use that can lead (on coastlines, islands and mountain areas) to supply difficulties in peak seasons. Around the Mediterranean Sea, seasonal water demands from the tourism industry increase annual water demand by an estimated 5%-20%.
  • Industrial water productivity (ratio of value of water withdrawn to value of industrial output using the water) is a general indicator of performance in water use.
  • The intensity of water use in industry, in overall terms, is believed to be increasing, as is the value added by industry per unit of water use.
  • Industrial water use is only partially linked to a country’s level of industrialization, as exemplified by the large difference in water productivity between two high-income countries: more than USD 138 per cubic metre in Denmark and less than USD 10 per cubic metre in the United States. 

Related themes: Industry; Allocating Water

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