The Great Guzzlers: Who’s Using All Our Water?
Among the forecast effects of climate change, one in particular poses special concern: We’re running out of water.
According to UNICEF, 4 billion people already experience water scarcity at least one month per year. More than 2 billion live in countries where water supply is inadequate, and half the world’s population could be living in areas facing water scarcity as early as 2025, with global ramifications for public health and migration, not to mention peace.
Our unequal world is divided not just by wealth or quality of life, but also by access to basic necessities like water.
A Thirsty World
Geography and climate play a huge role in water availability. Still, just six countries consume 49% of all water usage globally.
The Global Water Footprint
Around the world, agriculture consumes 70% of all freshwater. Products can be ranked by their “water footprint,” which measures the number of liters of water used to produce one kilogram. The thirstiest products include cocoa and its derivatives, coffee, leather, and beef.