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Uruguay is part of:
Latin America and Caribbean · South America ·
Water Basins of Uruguay:
Chuy · La Plata · Lagoon Mirim ·
Facts & Figures edit
Capital Montevideo
Neighbouring Countries Argentina, Brazil
Total Area 176,220 km2
  - Water 2,600 km2 (1.48%) / 148 m2/ha
  - Land 173,620 km2
Coastline 660 km
Population 3,463,197 (19.8 inhab./km2)
HDIA 0.859 (2007)
Gini CoefficientA 44.9 (1995)
Nominal GDPB $28,350 million
GDP (PPP) Per CapitaB $12,300
Land UseC
  - Cultivated Land 13,907 km2 (8.01%)
     - Arable 13,490 km2 (7.77%)
     - Permanent Crops 417 km2 (0.24%)
     - Irrigated 2,100 km2
  - Non cultivated 159,713 km2 (91.99%)
Average Annual RainfallD 1265 mm
Renewable Water ResourcesE 139 km3
Water WithdrawalsF 3.15 km3/yr
  - For Agricultural Use 96%
  - For Domestic Use 3%
  - For Industrial Use 1%
  - Per Capita 943 m3
Population with safe access to
  - Improved Water Source 100%
     - Urban population 100%
     - Rural population 100%
  - Improved Sanitation 100%
     - Urban population 100%
     - Rural population 99%
References & Remarks
A UNDP Human Development Report
B CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia
C CIA World Factbook Country Profiles
D Aquastat - FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture
E CIA World Factbook
F Earthtrends

> Articles | Projects & Case studies | Publications & Web resources | Who is who | Maps
> Sector Assessment | Sector Coordination | Donor Profile

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Country Profile: Climate, Geography, Socio-Economic Context

Climatic data for Uruguay reveal an increasing trend in rainfall, especially in summer and spring. Also rising are minimum temperatures throughout the year, although the average temperature in summer is decreasing (AIACC, 2006). Studies of climate change scenarios for Uruguay point to likely increases in temperature, rainfall and sea level, as well as the frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events such as strong winds, heavy rains, hailstorms and other water-related hazards. The temperature could rise by as much as 0.5°C by 2020 and 2.5°C by 2050. The projected sea level rise of as much as 65 cm by 2100 would affect the lagoons and coastal wetlands of the Lake Merín basin and associated ecosystems that are vulnerable to related saltwater intrusion. The effects in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil would likely be quite similar.

From an economic perspective, Uruguay is more vulnerable than Brazil to problems induced by climate change because the region containing the Lake Merín basin generates 70% of the country’s GDP. The economic activities there include extensive rice production, animal husbandry, forestry, tourism, maritime transport and various manufacturing industries. The Program of General Measures for Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change in Uruguay identifies agricultural production (food security), freshwater resources, ecosystems and public health as especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change (Ministry of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment, 2007).

Country Profile: Water Bodies and Resources

Country Profile: Legal and Institutional Environment

Discussions about water privatization in Uruguay led to amendment of the Constitution in October 2004. The charter now guarantees public access to water supply and sanitation services as a fundamental right, and stipulates that social considerations should be given priority over economic factors in setting water policy. The Constitution prohibits for-profit corporations from supplying water for human consumption (Alliance for Democracy, 2006).

In Uruguay, the Water Code of 1978 provides the general legal framework for water resources management. The code assigns responsibility for the management of surface and groundwater resources to the national government and departmental authorities. It is complemented by laws setting forth provisions specific to various sectors, such as agriculture and industry.

The Uruguayan Constitution was amended in October 2004 by national referendum to identify water resources as public property and recognize access to drinking water and improved sanitation as a fundamental human right. The constitutional reform also promoted integrated water resources management (IWRM), calling for public participation in planning and for management of water resources at basin level. A new Law on Access to Information (Law 18.381), promulgated in October 2008, is in line with this reform.

Institutions charged with elaborating and implementing water resources management policy, setting priorities for water use and establishing user fees in Uruguay include the National Water Authority and the National Water and Sanitation Administration (under the Ministry of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment) in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. The National Water and Sanitation Policy, which is pending approval, is expected to include environmental preservation and protection among its aims. Like the similar policy document in Brazil, it will provide for all stakeholders, including local communities, to have a role in planning and decision-making.

Country Profile: Water Sector Coordination

See Sector coordination sub-page for detailed description

Country Profile: Trends in Water Use, Management and Sanitation

Country Profile: Challenges and Opportunities


Recently updated articles on Uruguay
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  2. Uruguay/articles ‎(1,113 views) . . WikiBot
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Projects and Case Studies

Projects in or about Uruguay

(this is a list of the 15 most recently updated entries. To see all projects click here)

  1. Design, construction and participatory monitoring of selective fishing gear, Uruguay ‎(2,823 views) . . Katy.norman
  2. Reducing and preventing land-based pollution in the Rio de la Plata/Maritime Front through implementation of the FrePlata Strategic Action Programme ‎(3,176 views) . . Katy.norman
  3. Implementing pilot climate change adaptation measures in coastal areas of Uruguay ‎(2,546 views) . . WikiBot
  4. Creating a Protected Area and a linear park in the franchise area of Bella Union, Uruguay ‎(2,224 views) . . WikiBot
  5. Connecting knowledge to action for the integrated management of the coastal area of the Rio de la Plata ‎(2,192 views) . . WikiBot

Case studies in or about Uruguay

(by popularity)

  1. Facing Water Challenges in Lake Merin:A WWDR3 Case Study ‎(9,944 views) . . WikiBot
  2. Facing Water Challenges in La Plata Water Basin:A WWDR3 Case Study ‎(9,780 views) . . WikiBot
  3. Community Involvement in La Plata River Basin ‎(8,652 views) . . WikiBot

See the complete list of WaterWiki documented projects in Uruguay


5 most recently updated publications on Uruguay

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5 most popular publications on Uruguay

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Who is Who

People working in Uruguay

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Organizations working in Uruguay
  1. Mixed Technical Commission of Salto Grande ‎(1,948 views) . . WikiBot
  2. Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee of La Plata Basin Countries ‎(2,334 views) . . WikiBot
  3. Administrative Commission of the River Uruguay ‎(2,343 views) . . WikiBot

See the complete list of WaterWiki documented organizations in Uruguay


See also

External Resources

"Water Supply and Sanitation in Uruguay" on Wikipedia

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