Infographic: A scary perspective on America’s water consumption

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On 7th April 2017, California’s governor, Jerry Brown, declared that the state’s drought state of emergency was over. The severe water shortage across the western United States had lasted for five-and-a-half years and, according to a number of studies, was brought on by changing weather patterns associated with La Niña (a periodic drop in the water temperature of the Pacific) and was exacerbated by global warming (2016 saw California’s hottest summer on record).

Adding to the state’s water woes is its ravenous demand for H20, both from its thirsty population of more than 39 million and its parched agricultural sector – a level of consumption that is putting immense pressure on natural resources such as the great Colorado River, which some experts have warned could be in danger of drying out in decades to come.

In DG #25 we put this demand into context with the infographic below, which sizes up the litres of water that go into producing everyday food items (using figures from the Grace Communication Foundation’s water footprint calculator). That juicy steak on your plate? It’s much, much juicier than it looks…

This infographic was published in DG#25. Pick up a copy in our online shop or take out an annual subscription using the promotion code ‘SLOWPOST’ and you’ll get our current issue for free.


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