In The Field

Earth System Science: Water, water, everywhere.

A digital atlas is being planned to map out the world’s water usage. There are already a handful of such projects, but this one plans to do it all (there’s a theme at this conference, of doing things bigger – I guess that comes of all that interdisciplinary research). It will – in an all-singing and dancing online format – show global maps of water in terms of how much is in the ground, how much rains down, runs off, gets drunk or sucked up for industry, how many dams and reservoirs there are, etc. etc. etc. (see a document about it here).

The issue is important, the presenter told meeting participants, because water use is skyrocketing. In the 1970s we ‘consumed’ 1,300 cubic kilometres a year. Now that’s up to 2,000. So that’s water, water, everywhere and some of it we drink.


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