The world is wracked by drinking water shortages. But as much as we hear that news these days, the problem always seems fairly abstract.
Kräutli’s infographic tries to solve that dilemma, by showing exactly why water supplies are falling in the world’s biggest cities. It has two basic components. One is a bubble chart that shows water price decreases/increases in cities across the world. Once you click the individual cities, you get a newsfeed filled with relevant news reports, and you also see the exact price of water, how it’s risen in the last five years, and how that compares to population growth.
As you can see, the stats are almost hard to believe. For example, Chicago has seen a 54% rise in water costs, compared to a 2% rise in population. And Chicago is hardly unusual. Washington, D.C. has seen a 44% rise; New York, 46%. And all while population has remained basically flat. (In Honduras, one town has seen water use grow by 1,617%.) Those rising costs reflect both diminishing water supplies and an aging infrastructure stretched by overuse.
(The piece was designed by Florian Kräutli, for Visualizing.org’s World Water Day Challenge, a $5,000 prize offered by GE for the best visualization of the world’s water woes. via fastcompany)