Few places are as water stressed as the Middle East. The Gulf countries have to live with the reality that their very existence depends on desalination, the Levant is scarcely better off, and the situation promises to get worse as population expands and temperatures rise. The worst can be averted if awareness grows and municipalities step up conservation programs.
But helping the average person visualize the seriousness of our water shortages is no easy task, except for Matthew Laws and Hall Watts from the Royal College of Art. Their sponge art submissions received a runner up nod from Visualizing.org’s World Water Day challenge. More details are the jump.
The genius of “Urban water needs: Can we keep it up?” lies in its accuracy. The cheap kitchen sponges used to illustrate each country’s water footprint actually rise in proportion to their projected 2030 consumption. The higher the sponge, the higher the consumption.
Notice how central and western Africa show very little water consumption (as though nobody lives there) and how stressed the Middle East will be in comparison to water guzzling Europe and North America.
Without water, life can not thrive. This incredible piece worth noting is a harbinger of hard times. The time to act is now.
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