Population and Water Resources

Topics: Water, Water resources, Water supply Pages: 20 (3304 words) Published: August 19, 2008
Water is a finite resource which means that the total amount of water in the planet is only limited. Its supply remains the same and yet human population recently grows resulting to a decrease of available amount of freshwater per person. The relatively small amount of available freshwater elaborates on how critical it is for everyone to help preserve and maintain clean, healthy lakes and streams, our sources of water. Water is mostly now being wasted because it is under-priced. We do not realize the significance of it. Also, the uneven distribution of water resources has led to the stage of scarcity in a number of regions. The paper aims to find possible ways on how to stop man's actions of wasting and teetering on the planet's supply of water.

"Water is life's matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water."
-Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

For survival, man depends on water. It circulates and goes through our bodies, replenishing nutrients and carrying away waste materials. Water came from the ice-capped mountains, melted and eventually became rivers and to oceans. It is the most distributed substance on our planet, and in different amounts it is available everywhere and plays a major role in human life. Of most importance is fresh water. No activities of human being and life is impossible without it because it can be substituted by nothing. In different histories, water has been a facet of ritual. Civilizations have emerged in different countries. The Chinese civilization originated in the Yellow River (Huang Ho) and the Egyptian from the Nile River. Both rivers have the ability to produce fertile soil, which made it easy for cities to spring up alongside the banks.

The Earth’s supply of water remains the same and yet the world population continues to grow. Apart from the population increase and the low rainfall in many densely populated areas, demand for water has risen for other reasons. In the world today, progress and prosperity go hand in hand with a reliable water supply. Fresh water is renewable only by rainfall, at the rate of 40,000 to 50,000 cubic kilometers per year. But due to the intensive urbanization, deforestation, and industrial farming, the earth's surface is drying. If present trends still persist, the water in all river basins on every continent could steadily be depleted. Contamination by pollutants has seriously degraded water quality in many rivers, lakes and groundwater resources reducing the supply of water for human use. While the increase in population alone has increased the challenges to water management, particularly in the area of sanitation, the greatest threats are from a wide variety of industrial and agricultural sources.

Drinking and tap water are often wasted because they are under-priced. The cost of using or mis-using water is paid either by commonly the user or at large by the community. As water demand continues to increase, it becomes even more important to see that it is directed to high-valued social uses. As the population increases, the amount of freshwater available per person decreases. Man has been moving unsteadily on the edge of a global crisis that is being worsen by climate change, which are shrinking glaciers and raising sea levels. Between 1900 and 1995, world demand for water multiplied by six, twice the rate of population growth over the same period. The six billion people use nearly 30% of the world’s total accessible renewal supply of water. By 2025, that value may reach 70% and yet billions of people lack basic water services, and millions die each year from water-related diseases. According to the United Nations, more than one billion people living on earth already lack access to fresh drinking water.

Just as our bodies require water to dispose of waste products, abundant water is required for proper sanitation. Food production would also be dependent on water....
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