Lecture 6 - Resources DEFINITION Resources are all those...

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2/13/10 1 Water Resources Resources DEFINITION: Resources are all those things that are necessary or important to human life and civilization. We will not be looking at all resources which would include food, clothing, and shelter but only at Earth Resources that include: 1. Water 2. Minerals 3. Energy 4. Air 5. Soils Resources PROBLEM: Exploitation of resources results in many being consumed at a rate faster than they can be replaced. DEFINITION: Renewable Resource is replaceable on a human time scale (months to years); e.g. food, water (surface flow), energy (solar, wind, water, wood), air. DEFINITION: Nonrenewable Resource -”nature renews them more slowly than we use them” (thousands to millions of years); e.g. minerals (iron, copper, gold), soil, water (groundwater), energy (petroleum, coal). Resources Even nonrenewable resources are often being replaced by natural processes but just too slowly to do us any good. e.g. petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico e.g. soils forming on glacial till in the Rockies e.g. groundwater recharging in the Ogallala Aquifer in the West Resource versus Reserve Important for resource exploitation is the knowledge of how much is available - this has led to the technical distinction between resource and reserve by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Mines (now defunct). Resource versus Reserve Resource - a concentration of a naturally occurring material (solid, liquid, gas) in or on the crust of the earth in such a form that economical extraction is currently or potentially feasible. Reserve - that portion of a resource which is identified and from which usable materials can be legally and economically extracted currently . Resource Reserve Note the difference : resources include all identified reserves currently available but also all materials that are potentially available for economic exploitation in the future (may even be undiscovered).
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2/13/10 2 Resource versus Reserve e.g. your money – reserves = your liquid assets - money in pocket or in the bank; resources = total potential earnings for your lifetime. e.g. silver - resources = 2 x 10 12 metric tons in the earth’s crust to a depth of 1 kilometer; reserves = 2 x 10 5 metric tons; we use 1 x 10 4 metric tons a year; therefore there is a 20 year supply at current usage levels. 2 x 10 12 metric tons = 2,000,000,000,000 2 x 10 5 metric tons = 20,000 It could be reasonably argued that water is our most important resource: Several days without drinking water and we die Required to grow food Used in the production of many products i.e. paper Required for energy production More than any other resource it sets the limits on economic and population growth And yet we are probably using it up and polluting it faster than any other resource. Fig. 12.2
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Lecture 6 - Resources DEFINITION Resources are all those...

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