Monday, August 21, 2023

Mapping Water Scarcity

Last week the Washington Post reported on a new analysis from the World Resources Institute which found that half of the world's population already experiences water stress at least once every year. According to the WRI's analysis 25 countries around the world are now exposed to extreme water stress and the global demand for water is now exceeding what there is available.

The Post's article Here's Where Water is Running Out in the World includes a nice Mapbox storymap which takes the reader on a guided tour of some of the countries and regions which are being hardest hit by water stress. The Post's map includes a choropleth layer showing the levels of water stress around the world. 

Later in the article the Post also uses a small multiple map visualization to show water demand around the world in different sectors (irrigation, livestock, domestic and industry). Globally farming accounts for the most water use.

You can also explore global water use on the World Resources Institute's own interactive map Aqueduct. Aqueduct allows you to explore 12 key indicators of water risk to highlight where water scarcity and water issues are, or could be, a problem in countries around the world. The map has been updated recently to include WRI's latest global water stress analysis.

The 12 key indicators can be accessed from the map side panel. You can select any of the indicators to view a choropleth map layer showing the risks around the world for each water risk indicator. The indicators include risks such as access to water, drought severity and groundwater stress. 

You can learn more about the water risks facing a particluar area by clicking on the interactive map. Selecting a location on the map will open an information window containing a breakdown of the water risks faced by your chosen location. This information includes a rating of the overall water risk and the projected risks for the area selected.

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