Water We Thinking?
The U.S. has earned the dubious distinction of being the most wasteful user of water in the world, according to the first-ever Water Poverty Index. Developed by a team of British researchers, the index ranked 147 countries according to water resources, access, capacity, use, and environmental impact. The U.S., which has the highest per capita water use in the world, ranked 32nd overall, but last in efficiency. The nations that fared best were a mix of developed and developing countries, with Finland topping the list, followed by Canada, Iceland, Norway, Guyana, Suriname, Austria, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland. By contrast, the worst-ranking nations were all from the developing world: Haiti, Niger, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Malawi, Djibouti, Chad, Benin, Rwanda, and Burundi. Some of the issues raised by the index will be discussed at the World Water Forum, scheduled to be held in Japan next March.