In celebration of World Water Day 2011, visualization.org hosted a contest to visualize urban water data, and to assist them draw connections and insights from across the spectrum of health, economic, environmental, and policy perspectives.
The winning entry is from a duo from Harvard: Joseph Bergen and Nickie Huang. Their entry has two basic components. The first screen is an interactive map. Users can scroll over different nations to compare details of water supply and usage around the world. First click on one country and then the hover over another to see how their numbers relate to each other.
When you click on the icon in the center right, a list of consumer products and their related water usage profile are presented.
This graphic and interface could use another level of refinement to improve user interface would be helpful. It's a bit overwhelming in terms of spatial data overload, an injection of simplicity would make the sensory experience more palatable. Play around with it and see what you think.