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The Reasons For Shortage Of Clean Water Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1751 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Shortage of clean water is a serious problem in the world nowadays. Particularly, shortage of clean water has developed remarkably in both popularity and in complicatedness due to many causes, which come from both citizens and governments. This issue causes a lot of effects not only on people’s life but also on environment. However, many effective solutions have been taken to put an end to this problem. This paper, based on secondary research, discusses three questions about the reasons of shortage of clean water, the effects on daily life and the measures for this issue. Based on the findings of the research, the paper draw the conclusion that although clean water scarcity is still popular at the present, there is actually hope that it can be solve in the future.

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In the past people only used water for cooking, farming and serving their daily life. But nowadays, water also plays an important role in industry such as hydroelectricity or metallurgy. The United Nations (2010) estimated that in 2050 more than two billion people in 48 countries will lack of water completely. Approximately 97% to 98% of the water on Earth is salt water (estimates vary slightly depending on the source). Most of the remaining water is in the form of ice, in glaciers or polar ice caps. Water in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams accounts for only about 1% of fresh water capable of using. But people still blatantly waste fresh water. Therefore, this paper, with purpose of showing the information about the shortage of clean water, discusses its reasons, effects, and solutions of this issue.

2. Discussion of findings

2.1. The reasons for shortage of clean water.

Many countries in the world have wondered about the causes of clean water shortage, and many researchers are studying it. There are three main causes of clean water scarcity in the world: the weakness in industrial wastewater management that cause water pollution, the using of water in the unreasonable ways and the lack of civic awareness.

First of all the weakness in industrial waste water management is one of the main reasons of water pollution in the world. “Many industrial facilities use clean water to carry away waste from their plants into rivers, ponds and lakes”. Most of the factories do not have any wastewater treatment system and many industrial zones and trade villages do not have a central waste water treatment methods. Industrial waste water is directly discharged into lakes, ponds, and rivers, causing serious pollution of water. For instance, according to environment survey in 2009, a paper company daily discharges of about 4,500-5.000m3 waste water containing high levels of toxins many times the standard allows. Moreover, for economic purposes, workers ready to ignore the consequences of environment pollution. If the inspector asks to check the level of toxins in the waste water, they will find ways to swindle or even bribe the inspector with money.

Secondly, in modern cities, people use water in unreasonable ways. While clean water is a scare natural source with people in rural areas, in the city, people waste freshwater phlegmatically in holidays, events and daily life. For example, an American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day. Moreover, people spend too much water in the holidays, events…

Finally, a cause of water pollution in the world is the lack of awareness among citizens. Every day people discharge a lot of rubbish, and they throw it directly into rivers, lakes and ponds. People use water to do their laundry, wash dishes, and bath, and then they throw the dirty water that contained detergent and shampoo directly into these sources. Furthermore, “in 2004, when the bird flu occurred, they threw dead poultry into the ditches and rivers”. Also, they improperly buried these infected poultries into underground. That polluted the groundwater, the main source of freshwater. Moreover, farmers use too much fertilizer on the field in order to speed up crop plant’s development and pesticide to. They do not know that these chemical toxins will soak in soil and poison the groundwater. As the previous idea, people do illegal things to make profit but they ignore the consequences of their act. Once again, economic purposes blind people’s conscience.

2.2. The effects on daily life.

Clean water play an important role in our daily life so clean water scarcity causes many consequences. At the World Water Day event, Margaret (2012) the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General said that: “Globally scarcity of water had already affected 4 out of every 10 people”.

Firstly, the shortage of clean water will affect directly people’s life. The shortage of water affects the irrigation to harvests, without water for farming, farmers will not produce enough product to earn for living. As water becomes more difficult to get, the price of fresh water will become out of reach for many families both in American and around the world. In fact, it’s clear that the water shortage will cause other social problems such as food scarcity, uprising, diseases… “More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world”.

The water shortage in many developing countries is considered as one of the most serious political and social problems of this time. Lack of water is stopping the development in many countries. Meanwhile with a development economy, there will be rise in demand for water by industries, which may lead to the scarcity of fresh water for consumers, farmers and also workers. Leon Kaye (2013, p. 1) pointed out that “The valley’s cities such as Fresno and Bakersfield are surging in population while the global demand for food rises, leaving the region facing many challenges: depleted groundwater reserves; deposits of toxins such as selenium that contaminate valuable farmland; and a controversial Endangered Species Act ruling that diverted water from thousands of farmers and rendered 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of valuable farms and orchards dry”.

Secondly, shortage of clean water also causes some big problems to the environment. When the demand for clean water of fauna and flora increase, the amount of water exist in their habitats will be no longer enough so they will die. Moreover, this situation may affect badly to ecosystem. Stefan Anitei (2007, p. 2) pointed out that without water, animals and plants cannot grow up and land will not be cultivated. Then natural habitats will be destroy and the ecosystem will be in verge of disappearance. Water scarcity is also the reason for drought and forest fire. Because moisture in the air will decrease, the more percentage of forest fire increase, the more area of forest decrease. This affects seriously to atmosphere especially the amount of oxygen.

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2.3. The solutions for this issue.

A study of distance education (Environmental Health Practitioner Manual, 2010) suggested that “water is one of the most important substances on earth. It has not any color, smell, taste or calories, but all plants and animals must have water to survive”. No creature in the world can live without water. From whale to bacteria, water is very important and nothing can replace its role.

Because of water’s important role, some solutions have suggested to solve the shortage clean water. Firstly, people need enhance our sense of changing consumption and lifestyles. People should use less water in order to save it for the future. Moreover, small steps like turning of tap when brushing or washing will save a huge amount of water. Tompkins (2012, p. 3) says “A [typical] tap runs at six liters a minute – if people brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day, that’s 24 liters that goes down the sink. If everyone cut two minutes off their shower time, in one day they would save enough water to fill 373 Olympic swimming pools”.

Secondly, governments should suggest some methods to improve this problem. For instance, testing wastewater discharged from industrial factories must be strengthen to decrease mostly toxin concentration that pollute water resources. Furthermore, governments can compulsory water meters and raise prices. “It is an idea favoured by the government – which is optimistic that water meters can reduce the average water usage per person from 150 liters to 130 liters per day by 2030 – and supported by the EA, which says homes with meters use 10-15% less on average than those without them”. When water price is increased, citizens will reduce their usage of water themselves.

Finally, people especially scientists, inventors should invent Water conservation technologies and apply them to daily life. “In areas where aquifers are drying up and rainwater is increasingly unpredictable, these technologies are needed”. In Transkei, a professor has been given some relief with water made from fog and his name is Jana Olivier. He used mountain fog to provide water. “The project, which was made possible by the Alfred Nzo District Municipality and University of South Africa climatologist, has already yielded positive results”. His machine was tested by “more than 30 households in Cabazana Village in Mount Ayliff”, and it launched effectively. That made people here feel very happy, Thobile, a citizen of Cabazana Village, said that “We are happy that finally we have water and that it is clean and safe to drink; this is really wonderful news for all of us”.

3. Conclusion

From all findings above, it is clear that shortage of clean water is still a really huge problem. The evidence is overwhelming, clean water is more and more scarce and that causes a lot of effects on daily life. If this situation keeps happening, someday there is no clean water in the world. However, there are also reasons to believe clean water scarcity will be stopped in the future and thanks to authorities’ determination and the suggestion of many practical measures. Undoubtedly, this will take time, but it is worth pursing by greatest efforts.



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