March 22nd is World Water Day, which this year is themed: ‘Coping with Water Scarcity’. This year’s theme highlights the increased significance of water scarcity across the globe – From Africa and increased desertification, Australia and the increase in the number of droughts in past years to the UK and the water shortage that hits the South East every year. There is a clear need for the increased integration and cooperation of neighbouring countries and continents to ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources.

Worldmapper has created the following cartogram (map), each country’s size is in proportion to the amount of global freshwater resource there. As you can see below Africa is minuscule compared to its actual land mass as it receives only 9% of the global freshwater resource. 


In addition to the available water resource cartogram, Worldmapper provides additional cartograms on the total amount of precipitation, groundwater recharge and on other topics (e.g. forest cover, population).  Also visit the UN Water web site for the latest information on UN freshwater programmes and available resources (posters, desktop wallpaper, animations and videos) that highlight this important topic. In addition there is a live streaming conference on this subject here (available on the day 10:00-18:00 GMT)

For further scientific literature on this and other water related topics if you are a subscriber to CAB Abstracts try a search using the following search terms: ‘Available Water’ ‘Water Conservation’ ‘Water Availability’ ‘Water Balance’ ‘Irrigation’ ‘Water Management’ and ‘Water Resources’

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