Water, the Finite Resources
Water, The Finite Resources Outline I. Introduction A. Opener: What is water scarcity? B. Thesis statement: One of the crises that our environment is facing is fresh water scarcity which is a very serious issue and it affects our global environmental. II. Water shortage effects on environment and human beings. A. Causes disease B. Agricultural fields C. Poverty group D. Aquatic Ecosystems III. Water scarcity is causes by different factors. A. Global warming B. Changes of climate C. Decreasing ground water level D. Population growth and the increased consumption of water IV. Solution for water scarcity is a necessity. A.
Water Sharing Treaty B. Environmentalists Oppose Desalination Solution C. Government’s rules, regulations and plan V. Conclusion: People should use water wisely to prepare a better future for our next generation. Water, Our Finite Resources One of the crises that our environment is facing is fresh water scarcity which is a very serious issue and it affects our global environment. In the boundless black desert of space, the Earth which is always a blue-green oasis has a finite stock of fresh water (Lean, 2009). Water is the principal element for all socio-economic growth and for sustaining healthy ecosystems (“Water scarcity: The”, n. . ). Water scarcity is the product of an inequity between the supply of and demand for water supplies in a geographical area. Plainly put, water scarcity is based on the lack of water which means the quantity of water and the lack of access to safe water which refers to quality of the water. It is hard to picture that safe and clean water cannot be taken for granted; but, finding a dependable source of safe water consumes time and it is expensive in the developing world. This is defined as economic scarcity whereas physical scarcity of water can be overcome if more water can be found, but it needs more resources to do it.
In other areas, the shortage of water is a more intense problem (FOA, n. d. ). There is only less than 1% of the world’s fresh water which is readily accessible for direct human use (“Water facts”, n. d. ). Lean (2009) researched that by 2030, more than half of the world’s population will stay in high risk areas. Based on the World Water Development report, which is compiled by 24 UN agencies under the auspices of UNESCO, add that shortages of water are starting to constrain the economic growth in regions as diverse as Australia, California, Chia, India, and Indonesia (FOA, n. d. ).
Thus, this can show that water scarcity really affects human beings and the environment especially poverty, agriculture field, aquatic ecosystems, and causes disease. Poverty is the largest issue on which water crisis has an impact. Shah (2010) announced that there are 2. 6 billion people in the world who lack basic sanitation whereas inadequate access to water has affected 1. 1 billion people in developing countries, while the rest of world enjoys direct access to freshwater for domestic use. For poor people, water scarcity is about ensuring the fair and safe access which they need to secure their livelihoods, and sustain their lives. FOA, n. d. ). About 1. 8 billion people only can access water within one kilometer and consume around twenty liters per day; people in United Kingdom use on average 150liters per day. One out of every five children (400 million) from the developing world does not have access to safe water. Around 443 million children lost their school days each year from water-related illness (Shah, 2010). Furthermore, lack of water means millions of women are spending many hours every day in collecting water, sometimes from several miles away (FOA, n. d. ).
It is clearly show that water scarcity is preventing them from attaining even first step on the socioeconomic ladder. Water scarcity has a huge influence on agriculture fields and food production. (Sentlinger, n. d. ) Since agriculture is the biggest water consumer, it takes 70percent of the total use; water deficiency causes weak farming harvest, loss of animal wealth in farmland, and leads to insecurity of food. (“Water security”, 2010) Moreover, the amount of water needs for food production is the problem. People desire more and more water for even more agriculture.
Yet the most major contributor to water scarcity and to the ecosystem is the way people use water (Molden, De Fraiture, & Rijisberman, 2007). In addition, the quantity, availability, and price of key food product inputs can be directly impacted upon by water scarcity having a negative affect on animal and crop yields. The price of food commodities is particularly vulnerable and defenseless to the shocks of unexpected extreme weather incidents, while animals yields are highly at risk from raised water temperatures especially aquaculture and access to clean water sources (Krechowicz, Venugopal, Sauer, Somani, & Pandey, 2010).
Within the next ten to twenty years, the water crisis seems likely to trigger significant shortfalls in cereal production. As a result, an enormous global food crisis will occur (Quarterly, 2010). Water scarcity, the global critical issue cause increasing environmental stress, and it affects the ecosystem. In order to solve the water scarcity problem, huge dam construction causes interception of river flow, and it is endangering the dependent creatures.
The study estimated 24% of mammals, 12% of birds, and 10% of freshwater fish types are endangered (“Water security”, 2010). Increasing consumption water not only decrease the amount of water for human development but has brought a profound influence on the aquatic ecosystems and their supported stocks (World Water Council, n. d. ). In addition, freshwater species also experience habitat degradation and changes of thermal regimes which relate to climate alteration and water impoundment (Arthurtonet al. , n. d. ).
More than half of native freshwater in South Australia are already listed as rare, endangered or vulnerable and the problem is worsening by the drought which makes conservation difficult, once their habitats dry up (“Water security”, 2010). Covich, Postel and Carpenter explain that the life those ecosystems support and the health of aquatic ecosystems are in the risk stage because of the withdrawal of more fresh water for industry, agriculture, or cities in many areas (as cited in Postel, 2000). Over and above, water scarcity brings a big effect on human health.
The single most important issue determining public health which has been identified by the World Health Organization is clean water (“Problem: Fresh water”, n. d. ). The global water crisis causes death and disease in the world taking more than 14,000 people’s lives which include 11,000 of children under age five take each day (West, n. d. ). Poor water quality raises the risk of diarrhoeal diseases such as dysentery, typhoid fever, cholera, and other water-borne infections. Meantime, diseases such as trachoma, typhus, and plague are caused by water scarcity.
People store water at home due to water shortage; this will increase the risk of household water contamination and providing mosquitoes with a breeding ground, which are carriers of malaria, dengue fever and other diseases (World Health Organization, n. d. ). Human health is the most important issue but now water crisis already put human health below the safety level. The ever-increasing world population is a prime cause of the water scarcity. As populations grow rapidly, industrial, agricultural and individual water demands increase (“Global water shortage”, n. . ). In the last century, global water consumption amplified six fold which is more than twice the speed of population increase and it is believed that water consumption will continue growing and outpace population growth in the future; however, the available freshwater is limited which is less than the one percent of the total water on the Earth (“Water scarcity and”, n. d. ). Postel predicted the world is now facing the issue of insufficient water supply and foresees that problem of water supply or water availability will get worse for the next 30years.
Consequently, Sandra argued it raises the issues of water supply in agriculture, production for human demand due to increase of income, and providing drinking water (as cited in Environmentalist on Water Conservation, 2010). Water shortage also happens because of decreasing groundwater level. In 2000, global water withdrawal was predicted to be 30% of the world’s total available fresh water supply. Before 2025, this fraction might reach 70% (“Water security and”, 2010). The water level underground in different parts of the earth are called water tables (Edwin, 2010).
Water tables are dropping because of the over-pumping out of groundwater in many countries in a large portion (“Problem: Fresh”, n. d. ) which already exceeds natural replenishment (“Water security and”, 2010). The lack of the rain water falling causes ground water to flow into the sea. This will cause a slow decrease of the ground water level and this has to be controlled to try to make the water table increase. Water mining is happening at twice the speed of natural renewal, causing aquifer water tables to fall by 3 to 10 feet per year in most parts of the country.
As a result, the deeper the water table, the more tough it is for those who need to use it (Edwin, 2010). Water scarcity happens due to its distribution but not the total volume of water worldwide (King, 2010). There are various reasons which cause water shortage. Based on research, global warming is one of the major roots of water scarcity (“Problem: Fresh”, n. d. ). The global temperature rises which leads to upstream glaciers melting into water. This might possibly be permanent and will cause various rivers to reduce in size and some will disappear completely.
As there is less snow and more rain, the sea water level increase will encroach into the lower reaches of the streams. There will be more flooding and runoff during the rainy season, but water held as ice and snow in the mountains will also be less for use in the dry season (King, 2010). Yet, global warming raises the chance of evaporation losses from the surfaces of rivers, lakes, and reservoir (Glennon. 2005). Climate change ‘contributes’ to the water deficiency. It brings intensive and more frequent droughts (“Water security and”, 2010).
The sum of water available to refill groundwater sources impacted upon by the rate of evaporation differs a great deal, depending on relative humidity and temperature. Konikow and Kendy showed fleeting heavy rainfall and a fast evapotranspiration rate being combining together with high demand of water channels will cause groundwater reduction. Oki et al had explained that the terrific temporal inconsistency in water resources worldwide leads to the unevenness of distribution of precipitation in space and time (Climate institute, n. . ). Severe floods inundate coast-lines to cause interruption of salt water into fresh water which is also brought by climate change. UN scientists calculate that climate change effect will probably account for about a fifth of the increase in water scarcity (“Water security and”, 2010). All told, water as a renewable source has faced crisis due to the several causes which are mentioned above. Government plays an important role in solving the water shortage problem.
While the final custodian of the national water resources must be the government and must play the key role in deciding strategies and frameworks (“Water”, n. d. ). Some governments instil some rules and regulations to ensure the water supply lasts longer, for example, Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act, which enforces regulation on all users including cites, farms, and mines over 45years (Glennon, 2005). This innovative law results by starting an effective and comprehensive approach to groundwater management (Arizona Department of Water Resource, n. d. ).
On the other hand, China’s 11th five year plan from year 2006 to 2010 is focused on the development of technological innovation and water works for ensuring water supply and the safety of drinking water; it is also improving flood control and mitigation of disaster, and enhancing water saving and conservation. In constructing water conservation programs, governments still have a critical task to play. (Glennon, 2005) An alternative solution for water shortage is implementing new multination water sharing treaties. Currently, there is a large quantity of treaties in effect concerning water, yet most of them do not distribute properly.
These ineffective agreements will also lead to apprehension between nations. There are 261 major rivers’ watersheds presently shared by two or more nations (Gleick, n. d. ). The Rio Glande Compact which exits between the United States and Mexico has gone through debate, experiment and negotiation to reach agreement. Basically, a water sharing treaty distributes water based on land, population, and contribution to supply to ensure appropriate allocation. Reduced uncertainty or future population, industry and environmental needs are some of the benefits of the treaty (War, 2011).
Furthermore, sharing a treaty can let both countries have the high cost-sharing; (Diar, 2008) yet can improve the economics of the country (War, 2011). To conclude this, a multinational treaty would be exceptionally beneficial in resolving water arguments as well as reducing animosity and tension between countries. As, 97. 5percent of water on the earth is seawater (Arthurtonet al. , n. d. ), desalination of seawater is one of the long term solutions for water scarcity (Medalla, 2009). Desalination means remove salt from seawater.
Desalinisation is explained as filtering salty water through chemical membranes filters and removing the salt through electro dialysis and reverse osmosis leaving only fresh water as end product. In the Middle East and North Africa, about 130 nations have already worked by this procedure. However, the desalinization process has become much more practical for city areas and reverse-osmosis systems have attained significant enhancements recently. Arrandale shows globally implementing simple water recycling and filtration systems would be a relatively easy task that would reap outstanding benefits.
Making these global advancements would be an economically viable and environmentally friendly sustainable green step in the right direction towards the reduction of global water scarcity (Schwikert, Hall, & Jen, n. d. ). If compared with ten years ago, the cost of desalination has considerably lowered; this shows that making this type of solution is now more practicable. The desalination industry has also undergone other positive developments and technological advancement in capacity and filtration that have reduced general operating costs (Medalla, 2009). In conclusion, the problem of water scarcity is growing.
As more demand is made on limited supplies, the effort and cost to develop or even sustain access to water will rise (“Water scarcity: The”, n. d. ). Indeed, solution for water scarcity is a necessity which has been mentioned, such as water sharing treaties, environmentally opposed desalination solutions, and government’s rules, regulations and plans. Apart from corporation, agencies, and government’s efforts, everyone can contribute too. Every small thing makes a difference for the world. Furthermore, people can just buy only fair-trade products, only organics, only sustainably certified seafood, wood and paper (Caldecott, 2008).
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