Indicator 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.
The indicator at a glance
Indicator 6.4.1 tracks the value added in US dollars per volume of water used in cubic meters, by a given economic activity over time. It considers water use by all economic activities, with a focus on agriculture, industry and the service sector.
The indicator allows countries to assess to what extent their economic growth depends on the use of their water resources. Regional differences in climate and water availability must be considered in the interpretation of this indicator, in particular for agriculture.
Data on water use will come from the records of the national line ministries and institutions (e.g. for Water, Agriculture and Environment), and data on value generation in different sectors are commonly available from the National Statistical Office.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the custodian of indicator 6.4.1. For any enquiries about available support, please contact their helpdesk.
Guidance on data collection and reporting
- FAO: Monitoring methodology.
- FAO: Guidelines for the calculation of the agriculture water use efficiency.
- UN-Water: Data collection process and timeline.
- FAO: Helpdesk (email, phone, video conference).
- FAO: Webinars.
- FAO: E-learning course (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish).
- National workshops in selected countries.
- Regional workshops.
Data and progress reporting
- UN-Water: SDG 6 Data Portal.
- FAO AQUASTAT: 6.4.1 data.
- FAO on behalf of UN-Water: 2018 Progress Report.
- FAO on behalf of UN-Water: 2021 Progress Report (including infographics).
Why monitor water use efficiency?
Is national economic growth dependent on use of water resources? Data enables targeted interventions to sectors with high water use and low use efficiency.