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One Map Showing Where the Water Shortages Will Hit

Illustration for article titled One Map Showing Where the Water Shortages Will Hit

When we talk about a future of drought and water shortages, we're not just talking about the amount of water. We're also talking about how it's distributed — a feature that this world map of the per capita renewable water resources in each country illustrates nicely.

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The map, which is the work of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's AquaStat project, charts out the total amount of renewable water resources per inhabitant. Just how much renewable water is located fluctuates pretty wildly all over the map — even when the countries border each other.

Myanmar, for instance, comes in at 23,972 cubic meters/inhabitant, while directly above it, China is at 2,051 cubic meters. Meanwhile, the Central African Republic measured at 31,556 m3, more than 20 times neighboring Sudan which had just 1,411 m3.

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You can check out the whole map over at FAO AquaStat.

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DISCUSSION

It would be interesting to see a map of the U.S. showing available groundwater plus available rainfall per capita. (I'm deliberately removing water transport and distribution here.) Then show one of water usage per capita.