Summary 1. Approximately 0.024% of the earth’s water supply is available as liquid freshwater. Management of the world’s water supply is a huge 21 st century challenge. 2. Freshwater shortages are caused by dry climate, droughts, desiccation, and water stress. Solutions for this problem include building dams and reservoirs, transporting freshwater between locations, withdrawing groundwater, and desalination. 3. Advantages of dams and reservoirs include cheap electricity, reduction of downstream flooding, and year-round water for irrigation. Disadvantages include displacement of people and disruption of aquatic systems, and the hydrological cycle. 4. Transferring large amounts of water from one area to another can give stream runoff from water- rich areas to water-poor areas and aid in irrigation of farmland. It can also cause ecological, economical, and health disasters. 5. The advantages of withdrawing groundwater include water for drinking and irrigation; availability and locality; low cost, no evaporation losses; and it is renewable. Disadvantages include aquifer depletion from over pumping, subsidence, pollution, saltwater intrusion, and reduced water flow.
- Fall '13
- organic farming, 0.024%