The planet is running out of clean water. We know that. Reports confirm it about as often as the moon rises. But with their endless trail of gloomy, global factoids (a sixth of the world’s population doesn’t have access to drinking water, more than 2 million people a year die of waterborne diseases, etc.), these reports aren’t terribly relatable to Americans and others in developed countries–that is, the very people who exasperate the water crisis. Us Yanks want to hear about ourselves, dammit! And that’s what this infographic, via Visualizing.org, does so well.
It starts with a humble statistic: According to the UN, each person on Earth should have access to 20 liters of water a day. Then it reveals how much water the average American consumes by breaking down the daily routine of a hypothetical woman named Tammy. Tammy uses 17 liters to get through her morning rituals; 75 liters to wash the dishes; 189 liters to take a bubble bath (that much, yikes!); and so on.
Pretty normal stuff for an American. The problem is, “pretty normal” generates a tremendous water footprint. All told, Tammy fritters away a whopping 463 liters of water a day. That’s more than 20 times the UN’s recommendation. If every single person in the world followed Tammy’s routine, the planet would run out of water in eight years.
Kinda’ makes you think, huh? I know I won’t be taking any more bubble baths.
[Image: Flickr user Swiv]