“Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.”
These chilling words from Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” remind us that although the Earth is made up of 2/3 water, less than one percent of it is potable.
Water scarcity is perhaps the greatest threat to humans around the world, and its effects are not limited to developing nations. According to the Annual Water Rates survey by our partner Circle of Blue, the price Americans pay for municipal water is rising faster than any other household expense. The survey tracks prices for 30 major cities across the United States, and the data is visualized in a Qlik Sense dashboard.
U.S. water bills are a combination of water rates and water use. The chart below displays the average monthly household water use and the average monthly bill. Water use is also affected by climate, urban density, and price.
Recent droughts in California as well as lead contamination in areas such as Flint, Michigan, are causing additional stress. To put the situation in immediate context, Circle of Blue, American Public Media (APM), and Columbia University Water Center will conduct a free online, interactive town hall tomorrow: Wednesday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
Visit the website to register and learn more details.