Fact: The United States uses more water in a day than it uses oil in a year. And in four days, the United States uses more water than the world uses oil in a year. Are you sitting up yet? Charles Fishman explains it all here.
It’s no secret that we have a global water crisis on our hands. If this new infographic video from Charity Water doesn’t inspire you to take some action, nothing will. The good news is that we all have an opportunity to turn a challenging problem into a productive solution. Who wouldn’t want to be apart of that?
Not one of the 35 largest cities in India has water service more than an hour or two a day—including the name-brand cities we’ve all heard of: Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi. Many visitors to India never realize this, because hotels, offices, and upper-class homes have pumps and tanks that provide fake 24-hour service—the moment water pressure comes on, the pumps pull as much water into the tanks as possible. The result is a kind of illusory water service for a small slice of the population, and an undermining of efforts to improve overall municipal water service.
Almost half of Indians don’t have access to clean, safe reliable water—540 million people in just a single country. And one in six Indians relies on water that has to be carried home by foot—a time-consuming chore almost always handled by women and girls.
When you tote that 24-pack of half-liter water bottles home from the supermarket next time, try balancing it on your head, like many Indians do. That’s 26 pounds of water—just three gallons. Enough for one U.S. toilet flush.
Perhaps you’re vaguely aware that the world is wracked by drinking water shortages. But as much as we hear that news these days, the problem always seems fairly abstract. Here’s an infographic that tries to solve that dilemma, by showing exactly why water supplies are falling in the world’s biggest cities.
Kräutli’s infographic has two basic components. One is a bubble chart that shows water price increases in cities across the world. Once you click the individual cities, you get a newsfeed filled with relevant news reports, and you also see the exact price of water, how it’s risen in the last five years, and how that compares to population growth.
As you can see, the stats are almost hard to believe. For example, Chicago has seen a 54% rise in water costs, compared to a 2% rise in population. And Chicago is hardly unusual. Washington, D.C. has seen a 44% rise; New York, 46%. And all while population has remained basically flat. (In Honduras, one town has seen water use grow by 1,617%.) Those rising costs reflect both diminishing water supplies and an aging infrastructure stretched by overuse.