Everyone and everything needs water to survive. Water is our most important resource that is required to ensure our survival. This resource is something that we use every day in our lives and it serves many different purposes. We use water to take showers, to flush the toilet, cook dinner, to drink, and to clean. Water is not only used for our domestic needs, or wants but it is used in agriculture, industries, transportation, and as an alternative energy source (Lenntech, 2008). Life would be impossible without water. All life forms contain water; humans are composed of approximately 60% of water by body weight. We are dependent upon water for our survival as well as for our conveniences.
Americans can use approximately 40 gallons of water daily. If we were to take into account the water that is used for industries, businesses and institutions, the average gallons used per day would soar to 650 gallons. The chart below will show our domestic, purpose that water serves (Lenntech, 2008): [pic]
Comprising over 70% of the Earth’s surface, water is undoubtedly the most precious natural resource that exists on our planet. Without the seemingly invaluable compound comprised of hydrogen and oxygen, life on Earth would be nonexistent: it is essential for everything on our planet to grow and prosper. Although we as humans recognize this fact, we disregard it by polluting our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Subsequently, we are slowly but surely harming our planet to the point where organisms are dying at a very alarming rate. In addition to innocent organisms dying off, our drinking water has become greatly affected as is our ability to use water for recreational purposes. In order to combat water pollution, we must understand the problems and become part of the solution. (Kifferstein & Krantz, n.d., para. 1) There are three categories of water resource problems, too much water, too little water, and poor-quality water. When a river’s discharge cannot be contained within its normal flow, flooding will occur and could result in terms of property loss due to the removal of water-absorbent plants which are removed for construction. When this occurs in a natural area, undisturbed by humans, the river banks are abundant with plant-protected soil that absorbs much of the excess water (Axia College, 2009). When we change the lay of the land, how nature intended it to be, we are damaging the earth’s natural balance. Every building, store, mall, gas station, condominiums, hotel, motel and industrial plant, is built from concrete or on a concrete foundation. These construction materials do not absorb water, so runoff is apparent. This can lead to storm sewer flooding, which in turn can run into our water supply and cause contamination. Too much water can cause flooding and flooding can damage an already existing supply of fresh water. With too little water we are in a drought and this can harm our standard of living, plant life, aquatic life, and our agriculture. Water contamination, or pollution, is harmful to all living things. This can be caused by sewage, fertilizers, construction sites, urban development and eroded river banks. Droughts can impact the amount of water we have, and with droughts come forest fires, and with these fires the smoke drifts through the air causing people to become sick from asthma and allergies. What is it that we need to combat forest fires safely? Yes, the answer is water. Climate changes impact our water supply, just as much as any other factor in water conservation. We have to do everything possible to assist in keeping a healthy water resource for all. Water conservation education can teach the world on how to be a savvy water preservationist. In water conservation it is the little things that count, they can add up to a very costly effort if each idea is used by everyone. Just a half a gallon saved, per person, per day, would mean millions of gallons in our favor....
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