Monitoring water use efficiency (indicator 6.4.1)

6.4.1 Change in water use efficiency over time

Target 6.4 aims to increase water-use efficiency across all sectors - this page explains why and how to monitor progress towards the target, and what resources that are available for countries to do so

The global indicator on water-use efficiency tracks to what extent a country’s economic growth is dependent on the use of water resources, and enables policy- and decision makers to target interventions at sectors with high water use and low levels of improved efficiency over time.

The global indicator on water-use efficiency tracks to what extent a country’s economic growth is dependent on the use of water resources, and enables policy- and decision makers to target interventions at sectors with high water use and low levels of improved efficiency over time.

The indicator tracks the value added (US dollars) per volume of water withdrawn (cubic metres), by a given economic activity over time.

By reporting on trends in water-use efficiency, the indicator highlights to what extent a country’s economic growth is dependent on the use of water resources.

This indicator includes water use by all economic activities, with a focus on agriculture, industry and the service sector.

How to progressively monitor?

Data on water withdrawals will come from the monitoring of indicator 6.4.2 on water stress, and data on value generation in different sectors are commonly available from the NSO, which makes the monitoring of this indicator very cost-efficient.

Freshwater is used by all sectors of society, with agriculture being the biggest user overall. Photo credit: Neil Palmer CIAT, Creative Commons Attribution

Freshwater is used by all sectors of society, with agriculture being the biggest user overall. Photo credit: Neil Palmer CIAT, Creative Commons Attribution

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) compiles country data at the global level and supports countries in their monitoring efforts.