Data Sources and Methods: Canada’s Water Quantity in a Global Context
How the measure was calculated
Total renewable water for a country is estimated as total precipitation minus evapotranspiration plus total inflow. Total inflow includes water flows from neighbouring countries plus underground flows of surface waters. Annual renewable water per capita is calculated as the total annual volume of water divided by the country’s population.
The countries selected for comparison with Canada were the G8 group of the world’s leading industrialized nations (France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan,Canada and Russia), plus Australia and Sweden. Australia was included as it has a similar population, population density and territorial extent to Canada’s. Sweden was included because its climate is also similar to ours.
Caveats and limitations
The definition of total renewable water used by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ignores differences in water storage and represents the maximum quantity of water available on average.
In many countries, systematic collection of environmental data has a short history; sources are typically spread across a range of agencies and levels of government and information is often collected for other purposes.
The indicators refer to the national level and may conceal major sub-national differences.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 2008. Environmental Data Compendium 2006-2008 – Inland Waters.
For the Russian Federation: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2003. Review of World Water Resources by Country. Water Report 23.
For more information
Environmental Performance and Information Division OECD
Environment Directorate Working Group on Environmental Information and Outlooks
- Date Modified: