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Which nations consume the most freshwater? And how? (Sankey diagram).
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Austin Deely's profile photoNellie K. Adaba's profile photoRemigiusz Raitza's profile photoBruce Irving's profile photo
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America does, because it's a big nation, and wastes the most stuff. I live in North America since 1994. I'm from Brussels, Belgium.
 
Amazing graph, especially since my first assumption is the U.S. to be the primary consumer. However, the top three consumers are in the same order of country population.

Granted, there is a circa 4x population difference between the U.S. (3rd) and India (2nd), which given the technological resources and lifestyle afforded to the U.S., would indicate either highly inefficient systems, wasteful consumption, or both. We do need to be more responsible and accountable.
 
Household use seems to contribute the least water consumption; oddly the US devotes the most to industry despite a flagging industrial sector. Why are citizens the only ones publicly encouraged (even fined) to reduce consumption.

Agriculture seems to be where most of our water goes: China, India, and the U.S. Seriously, why hasn't more been done to encourage efficient use of water in the agricultural sector? In cereals the US uses the least water, while India and China use a lot of water: what's stopping the US assisting in development in this area? Imagine the water savings for these nations. And Americans, let's stop trying to down the biggest greasiest bacon wrapped burger: it's odd that a nation with a population 1/3 - 1/4 the size of China's needs to devote so much water to meat. Culture is not an excuse: it's more of an explanation of human stupidity. Why is international cooperation so difficult when oil or rare-earth metals aren't involved?

Are we waiting for some sort of natural disaster or climactic event to send millions to a cruel death through disease owing to diminished sanitation capabilities; or how about starvation when we cannot produce enough food owing to water shortages; or here's one more: an agonizing death by dehydration. #GlobalFail #TheFourHorsemen
 
And sorry, the previous comment was not meant to be a mindless rant against the US: China and India, get your act together and behave like emerging powers and set some sort of positive example by making improvements.
 
Wasting fresh potable water should be an international crime.
 
+Austin Deely Me too :)

It has been very fashionable to criticize - even justly - the US: I have. And in many cases the criticism is warranted; and proof of how open a society the US can be.

But seriously, we all share this one Earth and blaming one guy, no matter how powerful (still human after all, right?), doesn't solve anything: especially when the energy spent always pointing fingers can be better spent by doing something positive, even if the world deems what you can do a "small" task.
 
+Sandeep Chaudhari I agree singling out, or being overtly negative on one group/entity -- when the sum of the other parts are equally important -- does nothing to solve the issue per se. However, I tend to believe humanity ends where the mob begins (as history has repeatedly shown). And today's mobs are largely the global corporations unfortunately.

This was shared days ago, but here it is again for comparison sake for this thread's discussion -- it truly puts things in perspective for not only freshwater, but all forms of water in general:

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/2010/gallery/global-water-volume.html
 
Corporations currently lack a sufficient counter-balancing check on their power - transcending national boundaries, they are subject to the will of no particular country or people. The wealth they have accumulated has given them the power to further stack the game in their favor through lobbying and outright buying of representative leadership in their various 'markets' and 'geographies.' And they exist only to maximize shareholder profits. Relative to democratic government, the transnational corporation is like a malignant neoplasm, exploiting the 'tissues' of society to further its own ends as it spreads without check.
 
Well said +Bruce Irving , agree 100%. The behavior of corporations reveals one of the fundamental flaws of human behavior if left unchecked: greed. The more removed one is from what or who their decisions impact, the less concern or understanding is shown, with rationalizing and denial used to justify macroeconomic policies and business decisions. Again, humanity ends where mob-think begins.
 
+Austin Deely Agreed. I wonder if there are statistics, or even an infographic showing how water rights are distributed among corporate and municipal entities, as well as groups of private citizens, etc.?
 
+Sandeep Chaudhari Doing a quick search, I stumbled upon this: http://www.maweb.org/documents/document.312.aspx.pdf

This is a 43 page document and doing a quick scan, may be able to provide some insight -- it is titled Freshwater Ecosystem Services, Chap 7 of a larger work by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA).

The site is intriguing. The organization called the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was setup in 2000 by the United Nations. Lots of reference material here it seems -- will definitely need to spend some time digging for info. But it's a start!
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