Why is water the most important natural resource. In most parts of the world, water is a scarce resource. That might seem strange, because there is so much water on Earth. Almost all of the water on Earth, more than 97 percent of it, is seawater in the oceans. The rest is called fresh water, because it does not have a high salt content. Most of the world’s fresh water is frozen solid in large glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland. Almost all of the fresh water that is available for human use is either contained in soil and rock below the surface, called groundwater, or in rivers and lakes.
In most areas of the United States there is enough fresh water for human use. Yet usable fresh water is not as abundant as you might think. In some areas, like the arid Southwest, there is not enough water. In those areas, water has to be transported long distances from other places in human-made channels called aqueducts. Even in areas with plenty of fresh water, there are sometimes shortages. Rainfall is the only way that water supplies are Why is water the most important natural resource replenished. During times of drought, when rainfall is below average for a number of years, water supplies can become dangerously low. Even when rainfall is adequate, water from rivers and lakes might be unusable because of pollution. In some areas, groundwater cannot be used because when it is removed from the ground, nearby wetlands would be damaged by drying up. As the population of the United States continues to grow in the future, water shortages will become more common, because the supply of available water remains the same. Water conservation will become more and more important as time goes on.
People use water in many ways at home: drinking, cooking, bathing, brushing teeth, washing clothes, dishes, and cars, flushing toilets, watering gardens and lawns, and filling swimming pools. Most people do not think much about how much water they use. Perhaps this is partly because they don’t pay for it each time they use it, except when they buy bottled water.
There are many ways to conserve water in homes. Some are easier than others. Leaky faucets and leaky toilets waste very large amounts of water, because even though the flow rates are small, they leak all the time. New designs of toilets and washing machines use much less water than older designs, but replacement is expensive. Water-saving shower heads save a lot of water, and they are relatively easy and inexpensive to replace. The most effective ways to reduce water use, however, might be the most difficult. Taking “navy showers” (turning off the water while you’re soaping yourself), not planting lavish lawns in areas that are normally arid, and not washing cars so often are examples of effective and simple ways to conserve water.
Getting energy from water
The most significant use of water is to produce hydropower by harnessing its energy. Compared to other resources that are used to produce energy and power, water is considered renewable as well as having the least solid waste during energy production. To know more about the different uses and benefits of harnessing water as an energy resource, go to this website.
For a picture of how much water a country like the USA uses for energy, visit this page. Another website gives you a similar picture.
It is impossible to imagine doing our daily chores like washing dishes or clothes or even using the toilet without water. For a brief look at how much water an average household consumes, and ways in which we can save and conserve water, go to this website. A more authoritative site, the EPA site gives you more suggestions on what you can do to conserve water at this website.
Will we ever run out of water
It is comforting to think of water as a renewable resource, but we must also know what limitless exploitation of a resource can lead to. According to the UNDP, “an area is experiencing water stress when annual water supplies drop below 1700 m³ per person.
When annual water supplies drop below 1000 m³ per person, the population faces water scarcity.” Visit this page to understand the grim reality of water scarcity in Africa. It is predicted that by 2025, most countries of Africa and West Asia will face severe water scarcity due to increasing population and demands on water.
Water Conservation in the Yard and Garden, Outside Your Home
Don’t Run the Hose While Washing Your Car – Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing; this simple practice can save as much as 100 gallons when washing a car. Use a spray nozzle when rinsing for more efficient use of water. Better yet, use a water less car washing system; there are several brands, such as Eco Touch, which are now on the market.
Use a Broom, Not a Hose, to Clean Driveways and Sidewalks – Blasting leaves or stains off your walkways with water is one way to remove them, but brushing with a broom to first loosen the dirt and grime will decrease your water use and save you time in the long run.
Cover Swimming Pools to Reduce Evaporation – Swimming pools can lose an inch or more of water each week to evaporation. Temperature, humidity, wind, and the way the pool is situated can all affect how quickly water evaporates. To save thousands of gallons of pool water each season, get a cover for your pool.
Check for Leaks in Pipes, Hoses, Faucets and Couplings – Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they’re not as visible. But they can be just as wasteful as leaks indoors. Check frequently to keep them drip-free. Use hose washers at spigots and hose connections to eliminate leaks.
Reuse Wastewater Where Possible – “Grey water” is the water draining from your house’s sinks, bathtubs, and laundry machine, which can be used to water plants (as opposed to “black water” from toilets, which needs to be treated).
You can harvest grey water in a small way with a bucket in your kitchen or shower, or install a grey water system, which reroutes water from your drains to your landscape. Though not yet legal everywhere, codes are changing to allow more people to take advantage of this source of otherwise wasted water. The simplest systems harvest only water from the washing machine, which can add up to thousands of gallons per year. If you use grey water in your landscape, be sure to use only Eco-friendly and plant-based soaps and cleaners in your home so you’re not dousing your plants with industrial chemicals.