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Collection: Vital Water Graphics

Vital Water GraphicsVital Water Graphics
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been at the forefront of assessing and monitoring global water resources and presenting information on their use and management for 30 years. UNEP has compiled this report in order to provide an easily accessible resource on the state of the world's waters. The goal of this publication is to produce a clear overview, through a set of graphics, maps and other illustrations, of the state of the world's fresh and marine waters. It also illustrates the causes, effects, trends and threats facing our water sources, with examples of areas of major concern and future scenarios for the use and management of fresh, coastal and marine waters.
Regulation of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers Regulation of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
Water has long been associated with conflicts between neighbouring countries. This graphic shows how water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is used in Iraq, and that neighbouring Syria and Turkey influence the flow of this water. The graphic shows the locations of main dams, swamps and horticulture in the region. It also shows five of the major ways in which land is used in the region: forest and grazing land; rain-fed agriculture (grains, ve...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) case studies Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) case studies
The Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) is an example of a comprehensive strategic assessment designed to identify priorities for remedial and mitigatory actions in international waters. This graphic shows GIWA case studies for the Black Sea, the Amazon, the Great Barrier Reef and the Agulhas Current. Each case study includes an introduction and maps of the region and a discussion of the issues of concern for that region, such as freshw...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in continental river discharge Trends in continental river discharge
River flow is cyclical in nature, with alternating cycles of wet and dry years. This graphic uses bar graphs to show the average annual volumes of river runoff in cubic kilometres for each continent from 1921 to 1985. Over the time period the discharge there has been no obvious trends, but a certain degree of fluctation, the level dependent on the area of the basins and the precipitation over the area. The sizes of the bars in this graph reflect ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global International Waters Assessment Tools Global International Waters Assessment Tools
Global International Waters Assessment's (GIWA) assessment tools for monitoring the world's water resources, incorporating five major environmental concerns and application of the DPSIR framework (driving forces-pressure-state-impact-response), are now beginning to yield results of practical use for management decisions. This graphic explains the GIWA Assessment Methodology and GIWA's five main environmental concerns, which are: freshwater shorta...
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Coastal population and altered coastal zones Coastal population and altered coastal zones
Coastal areas with high population densities are those with the most shoreline degradation or alteration. Densely populated areas close to seas are also the most attractive for a lot of economic activity. The graphic shows the proportion of the population that lives within 100 km of the coast, for each of the world's nations and where there are coastal zones with high degree of human alteration (compared to 'natural' landcover). In addition, the ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Benefits from marine and coastal ecosystems and activities Benefits from marine and coastal ecosystems and activities
Besides the well-known economic value of fisheries, there are several other activities generating significant revenues in coastal and marine areas. This graphic discusses the economic benefits of coastal tourism, trade and shipping, offshore oil and gas, and fisheries. It also illustrates the estimated mean value of marine biomes such as estuaries and coastal reefs.
17 May 2005 - by Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global capture fisheries and aquaculture production, 1950-1999 Global capture fisheries and aquaculture production, 1950-1999
The global fisheries catch has levelled off, reflecting a growing decline in most major fishing areas. This graphic shows the amount of global aquaculture production and of global capture fishery catches in millions of tonnes per year for 1950 to 1999. The graphic also shows the amounts of global aquaculture production in marine water, freshwater and brackish water, in millions of tonnes, for 1998.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global sediment loads Global sediment loads
Asia exhibits the largest runoff volumes and, therefore, the highest levels of sediment discharge. This graphic shows the amounts of suspended sediments discharged, in millions of tonnes per year, in the major regions of the world. The levels of suspended sediments are increased by soil erosion and land degradation, and may affect aquatic ecosystems negatively.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global freshwater resources: quantity and distribution by region Global freshwater resources: quantity and distribution by region
Glaciers and icecaps contain approximately 70% of the world's freshwater, but groundwater is by far the most abundant and readily available source of freshwater. This graphic illustrates the quantity (in cubic kilometres) and distribution of the world's freshwater resources in glaciers and permanent ice caps, in groundwater, and in wetlands, large lakes, reservoirs and rivers. Further information is given in the accompanying text.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Water withdrawal and consumption Water withdrawal and consumption
Freshwater use is partly based on several socio-economic development factors, including population, physiography, and climatic characteristics. This graphic illustrates freshwater use, in cubic kilometres per year, from 1900 to 2000 for the world's major regions, and projects freshwater use for 2000 to 2025. It also shows how much water was withdrawn and consumed, in cubic kilometres per year, by each continent at the end of the 1990's. Finally, ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Aral Sea: trends and scenarios Aral Sea: trends and scenarios
The demise of the Aral Sea was caused primarily by the diversion of the inflowing Amu Dar'ya and Syr Dar'ya rivers to provide irrigation water for local croplands. This graphic shows the disappearance of the Aral Sea from 1957 to 2000 and three possible scenarios showing the relationship between future demand (and thus water abstraction) and future available runoff in cubic kilometres per year. The scenarios cover the time period from 2000 to 202...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Groundwater contamination from canals - Hat Yai, Thailand Groundwater contamination from canals - Hat Yai, Thailand
In areas where surface water is not readily available (located far away from areas where it is needed), groundwater is the primary water source. This graphic shows the chloride concentration and the potassium concentration, in milligrams per litre, in the city of Hat Yai's canals. It also shows the degree to which the polluted canal water has mixed with the groundwater. Finally, the graphic explains how the city's groundwater has been polluted by...
17 May 2005 - by Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Freshwater withdrawal in agriculture, industry and domestic use Freshwater withdrawal in agriculture, industry and domestic use
The agricultural sector is by far the biggest user of freshwater, primarily for irrigation of arable land. This graphic shows the relative percentages of water use by the agricultural, industrial and domestic sectors in the countries of the world in 2000.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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World's surface water: precipitation, evaporation and runoff World's surface water: precipitation, evaporation and runoff
The world's surface water is affected by different levels of precipitation, evaporation and runoff in different regions. This graphic illustrates the different rates at which these processes affect the major regions of the world, and the resulting uneven distribution of freshwater. It shows the amount of precipitation in cubic kilometres for each region, and the percentage of that amount which evaporates or becomes runoff. The text below the grap...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Freshwater stress and scarcity in africa by 2025 Freshwater stress and scarcity in africa by 2025
According to Population Action International, based upon the UN medium population projections of 1998, more than 2.8 billion people in 48 countries will face water stress or water scarcity conditions by 2025. An area is experiencing water stress when annual water supplies drop below 1700 m3 per person. Water scarcity means that the annual water supply is below 1000 m3 per person. This graphic shows which African nations are expected to be experie...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Freshwater Stress 1995 and 2025 Freshwater Stress 1995 and 2025
This graphic shows the amount of water withdrawal as a percentage of the total available supply, at the national level in 1995 and in 2025 (projected amounts). Overall, the percentages are expected to rise substantially by 2025. This resource also includes a graphic showing the number of people suffering from water stress and water scarcity worldwide in 1995, compared to projected rates for the year 2050. As the population continues to rise, the ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Indications of structural changes in the marine ecosystem, catch ratios of predatory and plankton feeding fish Indications of structural changes in the marine ecosystem, catch ratios of predatory and plankton feeding fish
Three-quarters of fish stocks are currently exploited to the maximum extent, if not excessively. The Northeast Atlantic Ocean continues to exhibit declining catches, as well as a shift towards fish at lower levels in the food chain. This graphic illustrates the decline in the catch ratios of predatory and plankton-feeding fish in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean from 1950 to 1995.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Renewable freshwater supplies, per river basin Renewable freshwater supplies, per river basin
Freshwater represents a crucial sort for human development, for nature and for ecosystem services. This graphic compares freshwater supplies in cubic metres per capita, per river basin in 1995 with a projection of freshwater supplies for the same areas in 2025. The graphic shows which areas were experiencing water stress, which were experiencing water scarcity and which had sufficient quantities of freshwater in 1995, and shows projections for th...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Fish diversity in freshwater systems Fish diversity in freshwater systems
Although freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and wetlands occupy less than 2% of the Earth's total land surface, they provide a wide range of habitats for a significant proportion of the world's plant and animal species. This graphic explains which areas of the world have high and low populations of fish species and of endemic fish.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Groundwater: aquifers, wells and circulation Groundwater: aquifers, wells and circulation
This graphic illustrates groundwater flow, two types of aquifers (confined and unconfined) and three types of wells (artesian; flowing artesian and a water table well in an unconfined aquifer). It shows how groundwater is circulated through the aquifers and how it is recharged. Groundwater represents one of the most important resources for drinking water for human consumption.
17 May 2005 - by Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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