Why Water is the New Oil – Infographic

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is water the new oil

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Forty percent of the world population will be facing water scarcity by 2035, according to expert projections.

Water, a free-flowing and abundant commodity, is something most people take for granted. However, as the effects of global warming continue to ravage the planet, more people increasingly face water shortages and have trouble accessing clean and safe water.

Consider this: The average American household uses roughly 350 gallons of water every day. In contrast, the world’s poorest survive on a mere 2.5 gallons a day.

And, it’s not just individuals pushing the water demand. Industries and agriculture also require massive amounts of water, further pressuring demand. In fact, industry consumes roughly a fifth of global water compared with just 5 percent for humans. The bigger chunk goes to agriculture.

As the problem worsens, more governments are advising industries to recycle water or set up desalination plants instead of pulling water from the ground because lakes and reservoirs are drying up.


The vanishing lakes, rivers and reservoirs

Residents in many urban cities are experiencing water shortages. Some go days without running water, while others have been digging DIY wells around their homes.

The problem begins with environmental degradation and carries on to a lack of investment in water infrastructure. According to the New York Times, more than 30 percent of Sao Paulo’s water is lost to leaks in ageing pipes.

The problem of leaky pipes extends to the United States as well, where estimates show that about seven billion gallons of water are lost every day in these pipes.

In fact, about 30 percent of the water infrastructures that serve cities of 100 000 or more people are at least 40 years old.

It’s a serious problem that will only become worse with time.

Check out this beautiful infographic by Column Five about America’s very real water crisis.

{This article has been updated for freshness and consistency.}

  • Colin Rabyniuk

    Colin is a writer, journalist and freelance designer based out of Hamilton, Ontario. His writing has appeared on Geekword.net, Aesthetic Magazine Toronto, and the Oakville News. When not hard at work, Colin loves to travel, and has backpacked all over Latin America, the United States and China.

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