Which Country Has the Most Lakes in the World?

Country with Most Lakes

We have focused on countries with most lakes and fresh water reservoirs in this article. In the last 100 years the world consumption of freshwater has doubled, but not all countries are able to satisfy such a high demand. More than 40% of the global population, almost 2.5 billion people, live in regions that suffer from medium or acute water shortages, and the proportion will increase to two-thirds in next few years.

Which country has the most lakes?

Here’s the list of countries with most lakes (Source: The World Bank):

1. Canada

Canada has nearly 50 major lakes. The largest lake residing solely in Canada is the Great Bear Lake. Canada owns 9% of the world’s fresh and renewable water, the vast majority of which is underground. The underground waterbed is estimated to be 37 times larger than it is in the country’s lakes and rivers. More than a quarter of Canadians are supplied with groundwater for domestic use. Despite having so much drinking-water, the population only accesses 40% of it. Its reserves are estimated at 2,900 km3, most of which are in underground reservoirs.

2. Brazil

Brazil has a freshwater reserve of approximately 6,950 km3. There are approximately 35 major lakes in Brazil.  It is the world’s richest country in freshwater reserves, with more than 13% of available freshwater on the planet. Despite this, according to a report released on the occasion of the World Water Forum last year, 57 million of the 190 million Brazilians lack potable-water.
The aquatic richness of the Latin American country is due to a huge number of rivers, the main of which is the Amazon, the longest and largest river in the world. The great Amazon River, with more than 200 tributaries, represents the fifth of the freshwater of the Planet.
In the rainy season, rivers often overflow, flooding vast areas of jungle. The Brazilian plateau has considerable hydroelectric potential.

3. Indonesia

Despite the tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004, Indonesia remains one of the world’s largest potable water-reserves, but again the problem lies in supplying it. Indonesia has 2,530 km3 of freshwater. Constant rainfall contributes to the irrigation of rivers and lakes. The Indonesian territory has a large amount of rainfall throughout the year. So the rivers are always at full capacity, something that has a significant role for the irrigation system.

4. China

In China there is plenty of freshwater, but there are even more inhabitants. China produces more than 4 million tons of water-waste daily. There are some modern wastewater treatment plants and sanitation systems. Perhaps about 50% of the Chinese population – some 600 million people – drinks water that is polluted with animal or human waste. This huge population is subject to diseases transported through water.
With 2,800 km3 of freshwater, China has between five and six percent of the Earth’s freshwater. China has 5-6% of the world’s reserves. At the same time it has the highest population density on the planet, while the distribution of freshwater in its territory is extremely unequal. The south has always struggled with flooding, while the northern and central parts of China lack it.

5. United States

The United States has an extensive network of rivers and lakes that cover its territory, which represent about 2 thousand 480 km3 of freshwater. It’s consumption in the US is the highest in the world but the supply rates are the lowest in the developed world. Eighty-three per cent of households are supplied by sewage systems (95 per cent in urban areas and 33 per cent in rural areas) and the rest are supplied by on-site sanitation systems. The country has wide territory covered with rivers and lakes. However, some of the regions in US, such as California, is suffering from an acute drought.

Largest lake in the world:
Caspian Sea is considered as the largest lake in the world. It is bordered by 5 countries:


6. Colombia

Access to drinking water and sanitation services in Colombia have been improved significantly during the last decade. Its coverage of drinking water reaches 93% of the population. However, there remain significant challenges, including inadequate coverage of services, especially in rural areas and inadequate quality of water and sanitation services.

7. Peru

In urban areas, the average continuous service of drinking water was 18 hours a day in 2016. Only two service providers in Peru had a continuous service in 2016.

8. India

In addition to prolonged periods of drought and low average rainfall, monsoon seasons typically occur in most regions of India, which typically occur between June and September. Rainwater harvesting programs are attempted in India to capture this monsoon rainfall and make it last all year. Like China: due to the high number of inhabitants, there is no supply for the whole population in India as well. In fact, according to UNICEF, 38 per cent of malnourished children are born in India, one of the main reasons is contaminated water consumed by those who do not have access to it. The country has a large number of rivers, many of which are an important source of irrigation. Glaciers and perpetual snow occupy about 40,000 km2. But considering the huge population of the country, water levels per person are quite low.

9. Bangladesh

It is one of the most densely populated countries. Bangladesh has a very fertile land largely due to the Ganges Delta, as well as regular floods caused by monsoon rains. Despite having high water resources, the rivers are often contaminated with arsenic, which is abundant in the soil of the country.

10. Burma

This Southeast Asian nation has 1,080 cubic kilometers of water, or 23,300 cubic meters per person. The rivers and lakes of the country originate from the mountains, but more than 80% of the water is received by the rain. Despite high absolute statistics, residents of certain regions of the country suffer from a shortage of freshwater.

Finland - the country of a thousand lakes:
Finland is the European Union country with the highest number of lakes in Europe. There are about 188000 lakes in Finland (with a water surface greater than 500 m2). The number of lakes with an area larger than 1 hectare (10000 m2) is more than 55000.

Country ranking with respect to fresh water reservoirs:

Ranking Country
1 Brazil
2 Canada
3 Indonesia
4 China
5 United States
6 Columbia
7 Peru
8 India
9 Bangladesh
10 Burma
The Deepest Lake:
Lake Baikal is the deepest Lake in the World. It is in Russia and its depth is approximately 1700 meters.

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