Images courtesy of Philippe Rekacewicz
Seeing as how yesterday was World Water Day 2008, we thought it'd be appropriate to post on a few visual representations of the state of usable water today. For some perspective, the above image, created by Philippe Rekacewicz with data from the WHO and UNICEF, shows the proportion of the world population with access to drinkable water in 2004.
This image, also from Rekacewicz with data from the FAO and World Resources Institute, provides a more current account, showing the availability of drinkable water in 2007. The availability is measured in cubic meters by person, and the scale rates it from "drought" (pénurie) to "susceptibility" (vulnérabilité). The latest issue of the journal Nature has an excellent multi-part report on the state of water today, including this helpful (and publicly accessible) primer on some of today's timeliest issues.
If you're interested, Rekacewicz has also created several other maps that cover everything from agricultural and domestic water use to access to adequate sanitation. Though fairly easy to interpret, be forewarned that, like the other maps, these are all in French. For a quick background on the history of World Water Day, check out another piece we did last year on the topic.
Via ::Le Monde Diplomatique: Accès à l’eau potable (news website)