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Vital Water Graphics 2

Water storage capacity for selected countries

Table of contents
Toward a world of thirst?ForewordExecutive summary Water and population

1. State of the world’s water

2. Freshwater resources3. Coastal and marine water4. Water and climate change

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Cross-country water storage comparisons provide insights into one aspect of risk mitigation capacity. However, storage capacity is only one guide to the linkage between infrastructure and vulnerability. Countries such as Ghana and Zambia have very high levels of water storage per capita - higher, in fact, than the United States - but a limited capacity to mitigate risk. Most of the storage capacity is geared towards power generation, with a very limited infrastructure for agricultural smallholders. There is also a flip side to large-scale water infrastructure, highlighted in the ongoing debate about the appropriate scale of interventions.