ENS-314 Global Environmental Change
Living in the Environment: Concepts, Connections, and Solutions
, 16th ed., by G. Tyler
Miller, Jr., and Scott E. Spoolman (Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole CENGAGE Learning, 2009).
Answer each of the following questions thoroughly. Provide each answer with
scientific/technical detail. For certain questions you may need to supplement your answers
with statistics or relevant examples. Be sure to acknowledge and cite your sources properly,
preferably in APA style.
What role does population growth play in water supply problems? Identify three ways
in which humans are negatively impacting the water cycle.
The biggest problem concerning water, regardless of how the population grows, is there is
only so much water. “ Only one percent of all the world’s water can be used for drinking.
Nearly 97 percent of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable, and the other two
percent is locked away in ice caps and glaciers. There is no “new” water: whether our
source water is a stream, river, lake, spring, or well, we are using the same water the
dinosaurs used millions of years ago” (EPA, pp.12). The water we have available today is
the same water we’ve had for thousands of years. We can grow more food and spread out
taking up more space however, we cannot make more water.
As our population around the world expands and grows certain resources including water
are limited to the availability of our planet. We continue the practices we’ve always
enjoyed, which with increased population need to change to sustain the growth. “50-70
percent of home water is used for watering lawns and gardens. Nearly 14 percent of the
water a typical homeowner pays for is never even used” (EPA, pp.12).
Freshwater for many has become a growing concern, with unsustainable practices and
pollutants currently one in six people do not have adequate access to clean water in the
world. The river Nile provides seven countries with freshwater, the same river providing