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" EUROSTAT " : A manual on the collection of water-related statistical data

Published 2008

The Statistics Office of the European Commission, EUROSTAT is in charge of collecting all the data of Europe on all sectors, environment included. A questionnaire, jointly drafted with the OECD, on the status of the environment and covering all aspects of the water cycle is sent to each State, member of one or the other organisation.


The section on inland waters deals with available quantities, abstractions and discharges of the various economic stakeholders and the quantities of polluting substances produced, treated and discharged.

In order to improve data comparability, EUROSTAT wished to have a manual on data collection, intended for guiding the national statistics departments in the collection, estimation, aggregation and analysis of water data.

It should cover three aspects:

  • explaining the contents of each table and especially the main concepts and their structure, using figures in particular,
  • inventorying the methods used by the Member States to reply to each party,
  • proposing the best methods and practices identified in the reviewed countries.

This manual should provide a clear description of the recommended terms and methods, including the different sectors intervening in the water cycle from abstraction to discharge.

IOWater, associated with CEH-Wallingford, WRc, and CEDEX, was selected to conceive this manual. The work, which lasted over a year and a half, is now ending with the publication of a book of about a hundred pages for a first use during the collection of 2004.