At the end of 2021 I attended the NOAH conference in Zurich. I met lots of fascinating companies and have written about many of them. There were so many, the I simply didn't have time to write about all of them ... yet.
World Data Lab is one such company. World Data Lab take some of the world's most diverse and richest scientific data sets from the IMF, the UN, OECD, World Bank, IPCC and more, and create powerful visualisations that tell the story that is sometimes obfuscated by the detailed data.
They provide detailed, explorable information sets that provide as close to real-time as possible insights towards the SDG targets.
NOAH Conference, 2021
Impact Tech Leader Interview With:
World Data Lab
Want to Know When You Will Die?
I think we all have a morbid curiosity into our future demise, don't we? Well, if you do then you should pop over to population.io and enter your birthday, gender and country of residence.
I did it once, recommend it to everyone I speak to and have vowed to never do it again. 😬 The tool compares your longevity to the rest of the planet, and if like me, you've lived in different countries it gives you the opportunity to compare your lifespan in one versus the other.
Water, Water Everywhere, Not a Drop to Spare
One of the most startling discoveries I made using these clocks was the level of water stress and scarcity we are already living with.
For the last decade or so, I remember frequent hosepipe bans in the UK and realised water was in shorter-than-needed supply. But frankly (and in hindsight, naively), I imagined that if the local water companies would just hurry up and deal with all the leaks, we'd be ok.
So for all of you that I know have the same scapegoating cynicism, then I encourage you to read on.
“WATER SCARCITY IS THE LACK OF SUFFICIENT AVAILABLE WATER RESOURCES TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF WATER USAGE WITHIN A REGION.”
Nearly Half of the UK Lacks Enough Water
Using worldwater.io you can select individual countries to discover how much of the population is at risk from insufficient water.
The data is broken down into three levels; water stress, water scarcity and absolute scarcity.
Globally, in 2020 there were more than 2.36 billion people living in areas without enough water to support the demands. This is predicted to grown by more than 340 million by 2030, reaching a total of 2.7 billion.
40 Million People in the UK
The data for 2020 in the UK was shocking for me, more than 40 million people are living in areas with compromised water security. 30 million of these in areas officially designated as being water scarce!
Looking forward to 2030 where the UK population will have grown another 4 million, the number of people in water scarce areas increases by almost the same number, but the percentage notches up from 46% of the population to 50%.
I am currently writing this from Slovakia. This country has its own challenges, but water scarcity is not one. In 2020 zero percent of the population lived in water scarcity, and only 510,069 will experience the lesser degree, water stress, by 2030.
I decided to take a look at a handful of other countries, too.
Portugal comes in with 0% of its population living in water scarcity, with Germany sitting at 16% and the USA with almost a quarter of its population suffering from serious water shortages in 2020.
United States of America
In the USA, if you include water stress in addition to scarcity, by 2030 there are almost 130 million Americans living with less water than they need.
In terms of water supply, Chad, Africa fairs well in 2030, with only 1% of its population living in water stress conditions, yet their neighbouring country, Nigeria will see 31% of its population in these conditions. (This article might help explain why)
China will reach 37%, and New Zealand 29%.
See for yourself
I encourage you to visit these data clocks. They'll make you think differently about the world around you.