Visualizing Water Facts

This summer, one Check Your Head team member was lucky enough to take a holiday to the Netherlands and caught a glimpse of some amazing social and environmental justice work happening there. One event that they were able to attend, the Floriade, is a very large horticultural expo that happens once every ten years that included a strong focus on issues of climate justice. One of the pavilions at the Floriade included a very interactive and captivating look at water usage.

Drawing on industrial processes, food production, household consumption, and more, the display illuminated the incredible amount of water that we use every day – shedding light on the importance of conservation. They presented these facts and figures in a very neat way, with water pouring down around visitors in a totally cyclical display made largely of household items like buckets, barrels, and more! Take a look at some of the pictures below (and remember that in the Netherlands, using a period in a long number is like the comma in Canada… so 2.400 litres of water is actually 2,400!)

The picture below talks about the “water footprint” for various products. Every product that we consume, it says, needs water. Whether that is to water plants (like for coffee), clean equipment (like strawberry buckets), or feed animals (like pigs), water is involved in virtually every product. The total footprints that they calculated are astounding: 1,500 litres of water for 250 grams of pork, 4,000 litres for one pair of jeans, or 140 litres for one cup of coffee. When we trace the myriad ways in which water is involved in production and consumption, water footprints are enormous!


Want more information about water? Take a look at these local and global resources. Like infographics and presenting data in this way? Check out this infographic on media companies and media production!