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Progress on Water-Related Ecosystems

Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems will mitigate and strengthen resilience to climate change. For instance, wetlands trap carbon from the atmosphere and protect coastal areas from storm surges and inland areas from both floods and droughts by retaining water.

  • 21 % of the world’s water basins is experiencing rapid changes in the area covered by surface waters (SDG 6 indicator 6.6.1, 2020)

Available time series: 2005-2020

Proportion of world population covered by reporting in the last five years:100%
Proportion of world economy covered by reporting in the last five years: 99%
Proportion of world land area covered by reporting in the last five years: 51%
Learn more about the indicator here
Read the latest progress report here

SDG target 6.6 is: ‘By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.’

To track progress towards the target, indicator 6.6.1 tracks changes over time in water-related ecosystems such as lakes, rivers, wetlands and mangroves, with the help of earth observations.

Global status of indicator 6.6.1 Proportion of water basins experiencing high surface water extent changes (2020)

Changes include both increases and decreases in the area covered by surface water, corresponding to flooding and droughts and often associated with climate change. In --- countries (and areas) (representing ---% of the global land area and ---% of the global population), more than 50% of water basins is experiencing rapid changes. In --- countries (and areas) (representing ---% of the global land area and ---% of the global population), all water basins are experiencing rapid changes.

Proportion of water basins (%)

Change over time of indicator Proportion of water basins experiencing high surface water extent changes

Status in different countries (or areas) of indicator 6.6.1 Proportion of water basins experiencing high surface water extent changes (2020)

  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Eastern and South-Eastern Asia
  • Central and Southern Asia
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Europe and Northern America
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand)
  • Northern Africa and Western Asia

Status in different SDG regions of indicator 6.6.1 Proportion of water basins experiencing high surface water extent changes (2020)

Status of different components of Indicator 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

Spatial extent of wetlands, rivers and open water bodies, from national data, for one country (as an example)
Water quantity in rivers, open water bodies and aquifers, from national data, for one country (as an example) 

Proportion of water bodies with good water quality, in rivers, open water bodies and aquifers, from national data, for one country (as an example). The data are coming from SDG indicator 6.3.2 on ambient water quality.

Source data indicator 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

Country (or area), regional and world data for the latest year of reporting: 2007 - 2020

Country (or area), region, worldYear 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time
Spatial extent of water-related ecosystems from earth observation data, Lakes, rivers, estuaries and artificial water bodies (km2)Spatial extent of water-related ecosystems from national data, Total (km2)Water quantity from national data, Total (10^6 m3/year)Water quality from national data, Overall (Indicator 6.3.2 Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality, %)
Afghanistan2016580.46
Albania2016518.50
Algeria2016421.77
American Samoa20160.68
Andorra2016-20200.62473.3911.8086
Angola2016913.35
Anguilla20161.61
Antigua and Barbuda2016-202033.530
Argentina2016-202027897.8918
Armenia20161333.45
Aruba20161.11
Australia2016-202014511.3987.70
Australia and New Zealand2016-202021583.3987.10
Austria2015-2020633.4985840.40178841.4081.80
Azerbaijan201672059.04
Bahamas20161076.81
Bahrain201652.38
Bangladesh20164681.36
Barbados20160.20
Belarus2016-20201804.6088.90
Belgium2016157.95
Belize2016-2020281.4879
Benin2016-2020119.8189.40
Bermuda201626.72
Bhutan201675.43
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)201612019.80
Bosnia and Herzegovina2016-2020197.8230.60
Botswana2016-2020383.65221199.6978
Brazil2016-2020104863.4771
British Virgin Islands20165.48
Brunei Darussalam201662.37
Bulgaria2016-20201028.1565.60
Burkina Faso2016-2020370.0697.70
Burundi2016-20201955.15100
Cabo Verde2016280.67
Cambodia20163431.14
Cameroon20161875.94
Canada2016-2020698030.2782.20
Cayman Islands20164.66
Central African Republic2016431.46
Central and Southern Asia2016346773.90
Chad20161360.09
Chile2016-202012106.6584
China2016111859.06
China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region2016116.22
Colombia20169438.51
Comoros20165.61
Congo20161675.35
Cook Islands20161.31
Costa Rica2016-2020170.3868.50
Croatia2016-2020630.1555.90
Cuba20162543.54
Cyprus2016-202013.3761.40
Czechia2016-2020503.7088.20
Côte d'Ivoire2016-20201812.4680
Democratic People's Republic of Korea20161672.69
Democratic Republic of the Congo2016-202035865.0566
Denmark2016-20202416.5253.40
Djibouti2016151.31
Dominica20160.32
Dominican Republic2016-2020478.4970.60
Eastern and South-Eastern Asia2016201537.35
Ecuador20162121.10
Egypt20166376.32
El Salvador2016-2020340.0759.70
Equatorial Guinea2016112.82
Eritrea201647.54
Estonia2013-20202063.1499687.0616122.8775.70
Eswatini2016-202056.1787.50
Ethiopia2016-20206896.8996.80
Europe and Northern America2016-20201583218.8375.80
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)2016170.62
Faroe Islands20160
Fiji2016-2020525.8883788556.13100
Finland2012-202030116.206147696.80
France2016-20203689.8478.90
French Guiana2016519.53
French Polynesia2016264.99
Gabon2016-20202133.6593.60
Gambia2016742.35
Georgia2016-2020308.2592
Germany2016-20173838.0939
Ghana20166064.95
Gibraltar20160.24
Greece2016-20202903.2540.60
Greenland201637637.35
Grenada20161.33
Guadeloupe20162.75
Guam20161.52
Guatemala20161153.56
Guernsey20160.45
Guinea2016-2017169.0280.90
Guinea-Bissau201655.38
Guyana2016-20201421.2867.80
Haiti2016212.19
Holy See20160
Honduras2016836.29
Hungary2016-20201144.9159.30
Iceland2016-20202677.91100
India201616686.13
Indonesia201630901.51
Iran (Islamic Republic of)201657712.02
Iraq20164210.86
Ireland2016-20201528.3259.40
Isle of Man20160.93
Israel2016457.46
Italy20163627.02
Jamaica2016-202019.8357.20
Japan2015-20207910.77214000000000037.50
Jersey20160.36
Jordan2016-2020446.72100
Kazakhstan2016-2020158805.7763.90
Kenya2016-202011584.41381820.5686.50
Kiribati2016140.46
Kuwait201684.48
Kyrgyzstan20167249.77
Lao People's Democratic Republic2016-20201656.4080
Latin America and the Caribbean2016-2020230357.6357
Latvia2012-2020964.651755.6025802.7066.50
Lebanon2016-201717.5350
Lesotho2016-202049.40100
Liberia2016-2020197.9950
Libya201659.64
Liechtenstein2016-20200.5780
Lithuania2016-2020916.7898.70
Luxembourg20165.31
Madagascar2016-20202542.5590.70
Malawi201623757.17
Malaysia2010-20163907.335520.6414500000000000
Maldives201616.72
Mali2016-20201493.2770
Malta20162.80
Marshall Islands2016-201719.830.040.15100
Martinique20161.43
Mauritania2016152.75
Mauritius201616.28
Mayotte20162.82
Mexico2016-202010345.5954.90
Micronesia (Federated States of)20164.16
Monaco20160
Mongolia201614021.39
Montenegro2016-2020262.5288.10
Montserrat20160.58
Morocco2016-2017630.891834079.20
Mozambique201611620.37
Myanmar20166533.38
Namibia2016-2017289.8078.60
Nauru20160
Nepal2016203.40
Netherlands2015-20201042.493627.6095.90
New Caledonia201671.76
New Zealand2016-2020707272.20
Nicaragua20169761.65
Niger2016-2020326.0660
Nigeria2016-20204212.8712.50
Niue20160
Norfolk Island20160
North Macedonia2016-2020502.8570
Northern Africa and Western Asia2016103868.32
Northern Mariana Islands20163.38
Norway2016-202017590.13100
Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand)20166723.80
Oman2016235.96
Pakistan20162468.87
Palau20161.91
Panama2016-2020729.8064.40
Papua New Guinea20165280.96
Paraguay2016-20203407.6171.60
Peru2016-202012763.1799.2025.40
Philippines20166102.27
Pitcairn20160
Poland2015-20203552.054204.45167000000000096.10
Portugal2016773.56
Puerto Rico201628.64
Qatar2016166.06
Republic of Korea2016-20201820.0293.30
Republic of Moldova2016290.05
Romania2016-20202419.155477.2710075.3583.70
Russian Federation2016-2020546991.9596
Rwanda2016-20201505.1578.80
Saint Helena20161.18
Saint Kitts and Nevis20161.68
Saint Lucia20160.36
Saint Pierre and Miquelon201616.78
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines20161.74
Samoa2016-20205.17100
San Marino20160
Sao Tome and Principe20160
Saudi Arabia20161481.16
Senegal2016-20201269.6644.40
Serbia2016-2020566.2183.10
Seychelles20165.85
Sierra Leone2016-2020155.9041.70
Singapore2016-202036.98100
Slovakia2016-2020265.9157.20
Slovenia2015-202042.13472.653602683.90
Solomon Islands2016309.67
Somalia201656.60
South Africa2016-20203415.3758455.30563750699052.10
South Sudan2016-2017594.40100
Spain20163222.98
Sri Lanka20161025.46
Sub-Saharan Africa2016-2020233457.3370.50
Sudan2016-20181571.87178875969.8086.10
Suriname20161866.88
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands20160
Sweden2015-202035683.8231857.1148.40
Switzerland2007-20201367.2943500233643.4061.10
Syrian Arab Republic20161009.77
Tajikistan20161540.07
Thailand2016-20205434.4136
Timor-Leste201610.25
Togo2016-2020101.73100
Tokelau20161.74
Tonga201615.74
Trinidad and Tobago2016-202012.8587.50
Tunisia2016-2020304.9684.90
Turkey201611993.40
Turkmenistan201686383.38
Turks and Caicos Islands201635.64
Tuvalu201612
Uganda2016-202036212.660
Ukraine201613115.74
United Arab Emirates2016-2017162.3940
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland2016-20203677.9889.90
United Republic of Tanzania2016-202055582.3285.30
United States Virgin Islands20162.73
United States of America2016-2020154786.2533.70
Uruguay2016-20203973.6775.90
Uzbekistan20169345.05
Vanuatu201665.67
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)201610397.65
Viet Nam20165614.44
Wallis and Futuna Islands20160.38
Western Sahara20168.66
World2016-20202727520.5471.90
Yemen2016917.30
Zambia2016-201711941.0755534.50193120
Zimbabwe2016-20203489.3583.30
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