The planet is running out of clean water. We know that. New reports confirm it about as often as a full 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 water-borne diseases, etc.), these reports aren’t terribly relate-able 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 171 liters to brush her teeth, wash her face, and get through the rest of her morning rituals; 751 liters to wash the dishes; 1,891 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 4,631 liters of water a day. That’s 230 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.