Sustainability in Water Supply

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The theory of water’s origin may be debated, but the versatility of water is recognized as vital to human life. Innumerable theories have been proposed about how water was acquired on the earth’s surface over the last 4.6 billion years (Robert, “The Origin of Water on Earth,” 2001). The significance of water extends beyond everyday survival, serving as an environmental lifeline for numerous species and habitats.

Water provides humans with the opportunity to maintain balanced health, support agricultural labor, and encourage economic progression.

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If water resources dwindle, human activities will not deplete them entirely, but they will unmistakably affect the global population’s health (Robert, “The Origin of Water on Earth,” 2001).

The study of water management practices has been extensive. Techniques vary due to multiple human-made and natural challenges which call for distinct strategies from city to city (“Water Sustainability & How to Achieve It,” 2016). Every strategy has been considered, but none offer a permanent solution, only short-term results. The viability of water resources varies, ranging from intermediate responses in neighborhoods to larger issues that impact population status significantly.

In states such as Massachusetts, conservation tactics include limitation switches, which permit weather-sensitive irrigation in municipal quarters and athletic fields, amendments to improve soil moisture retention at municipal athletic compounds, and residential collection systems that repurpose rainwater (“The Impacts of Water Conservation Strategies on Water Use…”). As a result, the stressors impacting 80% of the world’s population are understood to be at growing levels, increasing the threat of water scarcity.

Investments in automation grant prosperous nations the opportunity to balance and mitigate high stressor levels without modifying their primary cause. Conversely, nations lacking financial resources remain vulnerable. Reduction in these types of investments threatens biodiversity, with habitats associated with 65% of continental discharge classified as moderately to highly threatened (“Global Threats to Human Water Security and River Biodiversity”).

Humans rely on water for evolutionary advances, economic benefits, and health maintenance. Surface water inconsistencies in bodies such as rivers and lakes are challenging to resolve, so groundwater provides a crucial alternative for fulfilling the hydrologic needs of people worldwide.

Groundwater is the primary source of drinking water for about half the global population, including virtually all rural dwellers. Additionally, it provides 50 billion gallons per day for agricultural needs (Perlman & USGS, “Groundwater Depletion”). Groundwater and glaciers constitute major reservoirs for fresh water storage. Decreasing groundwater levels result from the irrigation necessary to sustain large populations’ essential needs, including food (Wyman, “The Effects of Population on the Depletion of Fresh Water”).

Climate change and agriculture, two major consumers of water, are critically affected by these trends. Changing climates will alter rainfall patterns, causing everything from extended droughts, as seen in California, to severe flooding, such as the events that overwhelmed Southeast Asia at the end of 2017. Furthermore, agriculture, which accounts for 70% of water consumption, will be significantly impacted by water depletion.

An agricultural depot which contains water is what we generally specify as “water storage.” Logically, this technique was set to store water for later utilization in natural water sources related to groundwater aquifers, natural wetlands, and compounded artificial ponds (Haise, Hagan, & Edminster, Irrigation of agricultural lands, 1967). We’ve grown used to the concept of artificial water storage, but issues of resettlement and environmental deterioration are key factors in intermediate and massive scale water storage (“Executive summary,” 2016).

By examining the history of water impoundment in global reservoirs, we’ve accumulated a total of 10,800 cubic kilometers of water that has been confined to date. As a result of constant water containment, the reduction of GSL (Global Sea Level) has decreased significantly at a rate of -0.55 millimeters per year over the past half century (Chao, Wu, & Li “Impact of Artificial Reservoir Water Impoundment on Global Sea Level”).

Departing from the global perspective, at the local level, dams also have consequential impacts such as changes in the chemical, biological and physical states. Common changes include depleted oxygen levels, changes in chemical composition, and temperature differences. Such alterations affect aquatic plants and animals that have emerged within a given river system (“Environmental Impacts of Dams”). The natural deficits that occur aren’t proportional to the destruction of habitats and species.

The satisfaction of retaining such a resource is relatively pleasing, but maintaining effective progression is quite difficult. Establishing primary strategies such as energy-efficient desalination plants, policies and regulations, improved water harvesting, and improving distribution are representative of the prime solution. Water was given to us as a renewable resource, but it’s steadily depleting. As a society, humans must conserve its benefits and understand its limitations.

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Sustainability in Water Supply. (2019, Nov 14). Retrieved from