Water Conservation

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How Important is Water?As we all know, water is essential for mankind's survival. However, people seem to believe that our water supply is endless since there is more water than land on this Earth. Water regenerates and is redistributed through evaporation, making it seem endlessly renewable. So why worry?Actually, only one percent of the world's water has the capability of being used by us. About ninety-seven percent is salty seawater, and two percent is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. That only leaves one percent of the precious water that is to be used by not only people, but used by animals, plants, and food. Dehydration, which is the lack of water, will kill us faster than starvation, which is the lack of food. Since the plants and animals we eat also depend on water, lack of it could cause both dehydration and starvation. Water that looks drinkable can contain harmful elements, which could cause illness and death if ingested (Kreger, 2004).

To further deplete our water scarce supply, natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes, pose a great peril. However, one natural disaster stands above the rest. This natural disaster is called a drought. Drought, in my opinion, is the worst natural disaster of all. It not only affects us with a dry weather and uncomfortable heat waves, it also affects agriculture, and even drastically change the way we live about (Kreger, 2004).

That is why I, as a concerned Californian and fellow inhabitant of Earth, urge people today to conserve water to combat the evils of drought. We, as people, must think of not only how this will affect us. But how it will affect our children- and even grandchildren. I would not like to merely "ask" people to conserve water; I would like to enforce them to do so. Without water conservation, our limited water supply will diminish over time.

What is a Drought?Drought, like a destructing earthquake or flood, is a natural disaster. Drought is an insidious hazard to nature. It results from a deficiency of precipitation over a long period of time over an area. Precipitation is any kind of moisture like rain, snow, and sleet. One can determine how malicious a drought can be by the amount of precipitation, and how long it is (Rupert, 2006).

What Are the Causes of Drought?Although the main reason a drought occurs is the lack of precipitation, it is also caused by other factors. High pressure is one of the main contributors of drought. Although a high-pressure system brings clear, cool weather, if the high-pressure system continues for a long period of time, this will eventually lead to a drought (Wikipedia, 2007).

Another factor that contributes to the causes of drought is the lack of oceanic air mass. Most dry land is given a nice breeze of water by oceanic winds. However, if these winds are not strong enough to get the evaporated water to the dry lands, these lands will lack the moisture they desperately need (Wikipedia, 2007).

Deforestation is known to be the destruction of forests and woodlands. It is also one of the causes that lead up to drought. Deforestation increases the risk of drought by taking all of the groundwater from soil, which they heavily depend on to stay healthy (Collins, 2001).

What Are the Effects of a Drought?Most people believe that a drought is not as bad as a hurricane or a tsunami. That is correct. A drought is much more worst than any of those! A drought not only affects the specific region's ecosystem, it impacts the individuals living in the area of and the people living across the country just the same.

Drought produces a large number of impacts that affects the social, environmental, and economical way we live our lives. Its affects spread far beyond the effects of the drought alone. Water is essential to produce goods and provide certain services. Some direct impacts of drought are: reduced crop, rangeland, and forest productivity, reduced water levees, increased fire hazard, increased...