Indicator - Water exploitation index

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Dear colleagues,

This is an EIONET consultation for updating the indicator for CSI 018 – Use of freshwater resources (water exploitation index plus), which is measuring the level of water stress in a given territory (e.g. country, river basin) and time period. The indicator assesses the development of water scarcity in Europe (EU-27 and the EEA Member countries) as percentage of water consumption versus renewable freshwater resources, excludes  inter-basin water transfer or any other additional water supply measures such as desalinated water, water reuse etc.

The previous version of this indicator is available at river basin scale  for the years 1990-2015 and at the country level for 1990-2017. The updated version, subject to this EIONET consultation,  is covering the period 2016-2019 for river basin scale, 2018-2019 for the country level as building block of the previous version of the indicator. In addition,  the WEI at the NUTS 2 level for 2000-2019 has also been developed for its potential use in a wider policy-making processes. However, please note that the overall objective with this indicator is to provide a European overview on the water scarcity condition, rather than developing a surrogate dataset to be translated into the implementation at local level.

The underlying European dataset for the indicator has been obtained  from WISE SoE water quantity reported by the Eionet member countries, and from Eurostat, OECD and AQUAstat water databases.  The underlying data on water abstraction is a building block of the indicator for Water abstraction by source and sector published on 1st June 2022. 

Use of freshwater resources in Europe

Background information on the methodological implementation is provided under the Supporting Information section of the draft indicator. Input data and the results of the indicator computation are also provided in excel files (See the section - Files attached to this consultation). Please, primarily consult with ReadMe tab in each excel files before providing your feedback.

 The updated draft version of the indicator consists of  the WEI results at following  spatial and temporal scales:

  • Annual water exploitation index at country level – 2017-2019
  • Quarterly Water exploitation index at country level – 2000-2019
  • Quarterly water exploitation index at NUTS-2 level – 2000-2019
  • Quarterly water exploitation index at river basin level – 2016-2019

We kindly invite your comments and suggestions to this indicator. The format is that of an EEA indicator assessment, but we have set this consultation through the talkback tool, as this enables us to manage comments in a structured way. Note that the indicator has not yet been through editing nor final graphical layout, so you do not need comments on these aspects at this time.

The indicator and supplementary documents can be found on here:

Section 1 is the indicator assessment. This section provides assessment on the development of water stress at the EU level and country level. The figures presented will be interactive on the final indicator page with potentially filtering options for Country, NUTS2 and river basin levels.  

Section 2 is the supporting information. This section provides detailed information on policy relevance of this indicator, data availability, the methodological aspect, uncertainties, data and information references.

Section 3 is the Further comments. This section allows you to make more general comments.

The consultation is open until 26th August 2022.

You will need to log in to comment. In case you have forgotten your EIONET Account credentials, you can recover them using this form:  

For technical support, please contact EIONET helpdesk at:  

For the content related questions, please contact Nihat Zal:  and Alexander Psomas (ETC/ICM)

We hope you find the draft indicator interesting and look forward to receiving your comments. 

Thank you very much for your expert assistance. 

Files attached to this consultation
Section Comments
1. Indicator assessment 75
2. Supporting information 71
3. Further comments 4