WrittenAssignment6_ENS-314_RaymondMilek - Thomas Edison...

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Thomas Edison State College Raymond Milek-SID#0483682 ENS-314-OL009 Global Environmental Science Prof. Neil Pearce January, 2012 Semester 3/10/2012 Written Assignment 6 1. What role does population growth play in water supply problems? Identify three ways in which humans are negatively impacting the water cycle. (LO 6.1) Human population growth is growing at levels never before seen in history. In the last century, human population has tripled (Miller and Spoolman, 320). An increase of global water withdrawals and per capita withdrawals has caused an estimated 34% withdrawal of the world’s reliable runoff (the reliable source of freshwater) (Miller and Spoolman, 320). Because of unnecessary and overuse of the world’s fresh water supply, the increased population is depleting the reliable runoff at exponential rates. The affluent use of freshwater by industry, irrigation, arid lands, cities, and residential communities has caused experts to believe 90% of the reliable runoff will be withdrawn in the next 15 years (Miller and Spoolman, 320). Obviously, water must be conserved and used more efficiently. 1
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Along with the growing population, human activity negatively influences the water cycle in many ways. Hydroelectricity is having a negative effect on the water cycle in several ways. The use of hydroelectricity requires the use of dams, which affect the function of rivers both upstream and downstream (sciencelearn.org). The main problem occurs with the lack of water that actually makes it downstream. This causes droughts, as well as a lack of water supply for plants and animals living in the area (sciencelearn.org). Although hydroelectricity has a negative impact on the freshwater cycle, there are still other activities that cause further detriment. The growing population has caused demand for another use of water that has a negative impact. This cause is irrigation. Naturally, if the population grows, the supply and demand for food must grow. Irrigation uses freshwater on crops when the rain does not suffice their need for watering. Arid lands and countries with large farming communities require the use of far more water than irrigation would regularly require (sciencelearn.org). “The problem with irrigation is that it
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  • Spring '12
  • ??
  • Water supply, Drinking water

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