Water Resources - Sijia Hao Geosci 148 Larry Ruff 18 April...

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Sijia Hao Geosci 148 Larry Ruff 18 April 2011 Water Resources In a global society that is industrializing at an alarming rate, fresh water resources are becoming scarcer while, simultaneously, demand is skyrocketing for agricultural, industrial, and household use. Water scarcity of types affects, to varying degrees of severity, one in three people on every continent of the globe (WHO). To solve this problem, government officials, corporate businesses, and civilians must reevaluate the way they consume this precious resource and change their ways in order to ensure that people around the world all have adequate water supplies. There are two types of water scarcity – physical and economic. Physical water scarcity occurs when there is not enough water in a region to meet all the demands of the inhabitants, regardless of whether or not they are able to afford it. For the most part, dry and arid regions suffer most from physical scarcity, such as Western United States and Australia. However, due to manmade activity, regions naturally abundant in water are now plagued with the problem as well (Global). Today 1.2 billion people, or a fifth of the world’s population, live in areas where water is physically scarce (WHO). Physical scarcity can be resolved by deferring water from abundant sources to arid regions. For example, California, New Mexico, Arizona, and other dry states in western United States have been petitioning for a decades to extract water from the Great Lakes, arguing that it is a domestic resource that should be shared nationally, not hoarded regionally. However, the eight states bordering the lakes, including Ontario and Quebec, have signed the Great Lakes Basin Compact, which promises that none of them will allow Great Lakes water to be deferred to any state not bordering them, in order to prevent the exploitation of their fresh water (Great Lakes). Another case of water deferment is the South-North Water Transport Project that is currently being undertaken in China in order to send water from the more abundant south to the drier north. The finished project will connect China’s four main rivers – the Yangtze, Yellow River, Huaihe, and Haihe, stretching south-no-north across the eastern, central, and western parts
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of the country. It is estimated to cost $62 billion upon completion, twice as much as the Three
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Water Resources - Sijia Hao Geosci 148 Larry Ruff 18 April...

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