Variance in Water Infrastructure by Country

The Country Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. 20% of the index is based on technology. 20% of a country’s technology score (4% of the overall Country Similarity Index score) is allocated for the country’s water infrastructure. The following are the statistics that were included in the calculation:

Water Source

There are three basic sources of water: Surface Water, Ground Water, Ocean Water. Most countries get a majority of their water from lakes, water reservoirs, and rivers. However, some countries rely on the use of wells. This is usually in dry countries or very flat countries like Denmark and the Bahamas. Very few countries rely on desalinating saltwater from the ocean, since it is not cost effective. It is only done at a high percentage in some small desert countries. Kuwait is the only country that desalinates 100% of its water. In some cases wastewater is filtered and reused, however this source does not account for a high percentage in any country.

The AQUASTAT was the source of the data:
http://www.fao.org/aquastat/en/countries-and-basins/country-profiles/

Water sources were categorized into the following three types:
Surface Water, Ground Water, Ocean Water

Dam Capacity

Some countries have a lot of water stored in reservoirs created by dams. Like water source, less dam capacity correlates with drier and flatter countries. Canada has the largest dam capacity in the world, while there are many countries with no dams at all.

The AQUASTAT was the source of the data:
http://www.fao.org/aquastat/en/countries-and-basins/country-profiles/

Dam capacity was categorized into the following categories based on the ratio of dam capacity to total water used per year:
None, 0-12.5%, 12.5-25%, 25-50%, 50-100%, over 100%

Municipal Water Usage

Municipal water is any water that is treated for human consumption and distributed to homes and businesses. Usually the most developed countries use the most municipal water, especially in countries where water is cheap. Iceland uses the most per capita.

The AQUASTAT was the source of the data:
http://www.fao.org/aquastat/en/countries-and-basins/country-profiles/

Municipal water usage was categorized into the following categories per capita:
0-2.5, 2.5-5, 5-10, 10-20, 20-30

Non-Municipal Water Usage

Most water used is for industrial and agricultural purposes. It is not sourced from the tap water system and is not necessarily fit for human consumption. Turkmenistan uses by far the most water per capita, since it irrigates a huge amount of its land.

The AQUASTAT was the source of the data:
http://www.fao.org/aquastat/en/countries-and-basins/country-profiles/

Non-municipal water usage was categorized into the following categories per capita:
0-31.25, 31.25-62.5, 62.5-125, 125-250, 250-500

Drinking Water Access

People in developed countries have nearly 100% access to improved drinking water. However, in Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Haiti, Afghanistan, and many African countries, less than two thirds of their citizens have access to improved drinking water.

The World Bank was the source of the data:
https://ourworldindata.org/water-access

Drinking water access was categorized into the following categories:
40-52%, 52-64%, 64%-73%, 73-82%, 82-88%, 88-94%, 94-97%, 97-100%

Water Quality

Although people may have access to drinking water, the quality of the water varies greatly from country to country. Generally speaking, poorer countries tend to have worse water quality. Burundi and Kenya have some of the lowest water quality, while European countries have the highest water quality.

Yale University was the source of the data:
https://epi.yale.edu/epi-indicator-report/UWD

Water quality was categorized into the following scores:
0-20, 20-40, 40-60, 60-80, 80-100

Water Potability

Some countries have tap that does not require users to filter or boil it before drinking it. Most of these countries are in Western Europe. In general the richest countries have it, however this is not always the case. For instance, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Taiwan do not have it, despite having high GDP per capita. The vast majority of countries do not have potable tap water.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention was the source of the data:
https://www.mappingmegan.com/travelers-guide-to-safe-tap-water-countries-with-unsafe-drinking-water-can-i-drink-the-water-in/

Water potability was categorized into the following types:
Potable, Non-Potable

Improved Sanitation Access

A significant percentage of the world still does not have access to hygienic sanitation. Improved sanitation facilities include flush toilets, pit latrines, ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrine, and
composting toilet. Access to improved sanitation is highly correlated with how wealthy a country is. Poorer countries have low access. South Sudan has the lowest with less than 10% of its people having access.

The World Bank was the source of the data:
https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-population-with-improved-sanitation-faciltities?year=latest&country=~GIN

The percentage of the population with access to improved sanitation facilities was categorized into the following types:
0-20%, 20-40%, 40-55%, 55-70%, 70-80%, 80-90%, 90-95%, 95-100%

Obviously there is no one clear way to determine how similar one country is to another. How would you quantify how similar one country is to another?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.

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