Uses of Water

Topics: Water, Groundwater, Water resources Pages: 5 (1672 words) Published: March 21, 2011
Uses of water:
1. For drinking and for life processes.
On an average, a man consumes about 60,000 to 80,000 litres of water in his lifetime. The body of an adult contains nearly 40 to 50 litres of water at any given time and water constitutes about 66% of the average body make up. Aqueous solutions fill the cells in the body. Nutrients, oxygen, and metabolic waste products are transported by blood, which is mostly water. Digested food is absorbed in the form of an aqueous solution. In plants too nutrients are transported in the form of aqueous solutions. 2. In agriculture

Plants absorb their nutrients from the soil in the form of dilute aqueous solutions. Much of the worlds food crops are now grown under irrigation i.e. where regular water supply is diverted from dams, rivers, lakes etc. 3. In food industry

Water is the common medium used all over the world to prepare various types of foods i.e., for cleaning of food, cooking with/in water: preservation (freezers, fridges etc.) washing and cleaning of utensils, hands etc. 4. In bathing, washing, cleaning, sanitation etc.

5. In industries
Chemical industries are the greatest consumers of water; for instance, 170 litres of water is needed to manufacture just 1 kg of steel and about 144 tons of water is needed to produce one ton of paper. 6. For hydro-electric power production.

7. For transportation as well as recreation.
Transportation by sea and recreation such as swimming, fishing, sailing and other water sports are the important means of using water. 1. For cooking food, for cleaning and drinking.
2. For cultivating food.
3. For transport and recreation.
4. For cleaning.
5. For plants and animals to live in.
6. For factories, industries and power stations
Sources of water:
Sources of fresh water
[edit] Surface water
Main article: Surface water

Lake Chungará and Parinacota volcano in northern Chile
Surface water is water in a river, lake or fresh water wetland. Surface water is naturally replenished by precipitation and naturally lost through discharge to the oceans, evaporation, evapotranspiration and sub-surface seepage. Although the only natural input to any surface water system is precipitation within its watershed, the total quantity of water in that system at any given time is also dependent on many other factors. These factors include storage capacity in lakes, wetlands and artificial reservoirs, the permeability of the soil beneath these storage bodies, the runoff characteristics of the land in the watershed, the timing of the precipitation and local evaporation rates. All of these factors also affect the proportions of water lost. Human activities can have a large and sometimes devastating impact on these factors. Humans often increase storage capacity by constructing reservoirs and decrease it by draining wetlands. Humans often increase runoff quantities and velocities by paving areas and channelizing stream flow. The total quantity of water available at any given time is an important consideration. Some human water users have an intermittent need for water. For example, many farms require large quantities of water in the spring, and no water at all in the winter. To supply such a farm with water, a surface water system may require a large storage capacity to collect water throughout the year and release it in a short period of time. Other users have a continuous need for water, such as a power plant that requires water for cooling. To supply such a power plant with water, a surface water system only needs enough storage capacity to fill in when average stream flow is below the power plant's need. Nevertheless, over the long term the average rate of precipitation within a watershed is the upper bound for average consumption of natural surface water from that watershed. Natural surface water can be augmented by importing surface water from another watershed through a canal or pipeline. It can also be artificially...
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