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Uruguay Environment - 2024


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Environment - current issues

water pollution from meat packing, tannery industries; heavy metal pollution; inadequate solid and hazardous waste disposal; deforestation

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Life Conservation


warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown

Land use

agricultural land: 87.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 76.9% (2018 est.)

forest: 10.2% (2018 est.)

other: 2.6% (2018 est.)


urban population: 95.8% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

1.56% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 8.48 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 6.77 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 25.59 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,260,140 tons (2012 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 100,811 tons (2011 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 8% (2011 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Lagoa Mirim (shared with Brazil) - 2,970 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Rio de la Plata/Parana river mouth (shared with Brazil [s], Argentina, Paraguay) - 4,880 km; Uruguay river mouth (shared with Brazil [s] and Argentina) - 1,610 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major aquifers

Guarani Aquifer System

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 410 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 80 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 3.17 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

172.2 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


total global geoparks and regional networks: 1

global geoparks and regional networks: Grutas del Palacio (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Uruguay on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Uruguay 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Uruguay 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.