This interactive map documents where 443 million people around the world get there water (although the United States data is by far the most extensive). Most people can't answer this question. A recent poll by The Nature Conservancy discoverd that 77% of Americans (not on private well water) don't know where their water comes from, they just drink it. This link has videos, infographics and suggestions to promote cleaner water. This is also a fabulous example of an embedded map using ArcGIS Online to share geospatial data with a wider audience.
The “water footprint” of the average American is 32,911 glasses per day. That’s according to a recent study by a Conservancy partner organization, the Water Footprint Network.
No wonder another recent report co-authored by Conservancy scientist Brian Richter has found that water scarcity affects about 2.7 billion people for at least one month each year.
Where is all this water? It’s used to produce the food we eat, clothes we wear and more. And where does it come from? Nature. In fact, about 70 percent of the water extracted from rivers, lakes and aquifers is for agriculture.
Water is one of the most basic needs, and a good portion of our planet is already experiencing a major shortage of water that is safe to drink.
Here are some well-illustrated infographics about H2O. Our first two infographics of the day come from GOOD, who partnered with Levis last year and rolled out a whole line of water-themed infographics. The first appeals to the humanitarian in you, while the second appeals to your checkbook. Save water, save lives and money...
Water scarcity is likely to be one of the great problems facing the planet this century. Various risk factors contribute to the scarcity of clean water. A new mapping tool from the World Resources Institute visualizes how those risk factors can combine to create large problems, or how conditions can be improved to reduce the potential for water shortages between now and 2095.
The Water Risk Atlas shows how variable environmental conditions, human activities and regulatory environments affect the stability of water sources all over the world. One-year and three-year socioeconomic droughts can be displayed, as can baseline water stress, seasonal variability, inter-annual variability, and flood frequency. The tool also shows projected water stress levels for the years 2025, 2050 and 2095, under three different climate change scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The hydrological water year starts every autumn on 1 October and extends to the following 30 September. The available description from the USGS does not explain why this is the period considered, but there is some natural logic to the hydrological year: with the end of summer comes the (approximate) end of intense evaporation from reservoirs and the beginning of the seasons in which the net water balance in a watershed is generally positive. That is, in general, precipitation > evaporation.
Normally, from the beginning through about two-thirds of the water year, water is stored in the higher reaches of large watersheds as snowpack, which melts and runs off through the rest of the water year. Stream flows generally continue to drop from October through winter, but then rise significantly at the start of the melt season. That imbalance applies over a period longer than a single storm and for the whole watershed, not just on a random wet or dry day in one's own neighborhood.
One of the more interesting areas to observe the water year is the Colorado River Basin (CRB) in the southwestern US. The Colorado River has become so strictly regulated, in part because of gross over-allocation, over nearly a century of intensive use that it has become what I think is a consummate example of the coupled natural - human system...
Visit the link for a closer look at this detailed map of the CRB natural and engineered systems designed for National Geographic. Also, obtain more information regarding statistics on CRB flows and the status of reservoirs and other river operations, including links to various organizations and resources for further study...
Water is essential to life but in such places as India, Pakistan, China, and Thailand deluges have once again caused misery. Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines earlier this week on its way to south China.
I've linked to the Boston Globe's "The Big Picture before...it consistently is one of the best sources for geographic images around the world. This particular photo essay focuses on water-related natural disasters, and seeing the damaging is a poignant moment to get students to reflect on the human and environmental interactions, how we build and where we build.
A new infographic that maps the progress of the agricultural sector in addressing climate change throughout the history of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations has been launched on the sidelines of this year’s climate summit in Doha.
“Agriculture is already being hard hit by climate change and the outlook is even worse. However there are options for adaptation, and some of these even bring mitigation co-benefits,” said Bruce Campbell, Director of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security research program. Agriculture supports over 1 million of the world’s rural poor, yet is responsible for 80% of overall deforestation and 31% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing agricultural yields and improving farming techniques are some the ways that could help reduce its overall contribution to climate change. In addition to tracking the developments and effects climate change has had on global farming communities, the infographic also calls for the creation of a Work Program on Agriculture under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technology Advice (SBSTA) – a scientific advisory group to the UNFCCC. A new work program could document and share knowledge of improved practices to inform decision-making on agriculture and climate change to the UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties.
The infographic was created by Farming First, a coalition of farmers associations, engineers and scientists, in partnership with the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security research program (CCAFS) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
Ben Franklin warned us. You won’t miss the water ‘til the well runs dry. That’s a cautionary metaphor, but it’s also literally true. In the developed world we take our water for granted. We pour drinking water on our lawns, the largest irrigated crop in America. We spray drinking water to clean sidewalks and wash cars. And that’s just the water we can see.
Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease. In the developing world, 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from preventable causes like diarrhea contracted from unclean water.
Levi's has created a line of jeans which requires significantly less water to make.
As the first apparel company to require manufacturers to protect water quality and restrict the use of harmful chemicals, Levi's has helped ensure that water leaving its factories is cleaner than the water that comes in.
Continuing with their commitment to water consciousness, Levi's has created Water<less jeans, which requires significantly less water during the manufacturing process. Click on the infographic to learn more about how the company did it...
You’ve heard there’s a water crisis. But, what does that mean? When water flows in seemingly limitless quantities out of the tap and gets trucked to cities in bottles by the ton, it doesn’t seem like water is something we’re in danger of losing.
Water quantity and quality should be a top issue for Americans. In this infographic created with TakePart are the four major components of the issue, and how they’re all connected.
There's something about a searing hot summer day that leads a guy to kick off his shoes, turn on his fan and head to the Internet in search of cool graphics about the importance of water in the global food system.
Thanks to the Water Footprint Network, where we found several of these...
Most of the water we use - 92 % of it - is used in food production. Most of this water is managed by the world’s farmers. With the help of science and technology they have performed greater and greater miracles in improving water productivity – in getting more crops per drop.
The good news is that each one of us can also make the world a little more water secure, ready to face the needs of our peak population future.
A fun thought exercise touching on the themes of energy, resources, consumption and sustainability. We all know that we are consuming resources quickly; if we (globally) continue at the same rate of consumption, how long with certain resources last? If a is child born now, what resources would be gone when s/he is a middle aged? A senior citizen? See the animated version here: http://www.amanda-warner.com/samples/whatleft/
The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century. Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined. The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates.