other ecosystems that humans depend on, water is an over-exploited
resource that we do not understand well enough to manage properly.
We do know, however, that there is a problem with the way
we use water.
There are several different problems which contribute to the
water crisis that is building across the world. In many areas,
otherwise usable water is polluted to the point where it is
actually poisonous to the ecosystem around it.
In other areas, overuse of groundwater drains aquifers, causing
ever increasing shortages for both agriculture and human populations.
warming is subtly changing weather patterns, which will
have a devastating impact on water supplies in the near future as some areas are predicted to experience drought -- just as traditional dry and arid lands undergo flooding.
Together, these various effects on the global water supply
are stretching water supplies to their limit. Access to clean,
drinkable water is projected to become a massive issue in
years to come, and could cause significant conflict.
East in particular could suffer a great deal as it shares
just one percent of the world's fresh water among 5 percent
of the world's population.
of the potential loss of drinking water for billions, and
the conflicts that would surely follow, conservation
is absolutely critical for the future.
Many conservation efforts amount to making better use of the
water available. Water efficiency techniques for agriculture
and more water efficient appliances are common in areas with
existing water problems. Strict regulation also helps, but
in many places, in both developed and developing countries,
there are simply too many people accessing water supplies.
like Israel, have more creative solutions to this problem.
The Israelis are rapidly developing desalination
technology to supplement the meager natural fresh water supplies
available to them.
Overshadowing all of these issues, however, is global warming.
One of the many projected problems that global warming will
cause is a significant change in the distribution of the world's
water. Many places will see significantly more water, while
others, many of them heavily populated and already pushing
their water supplies to the limit, are predicted to see a
sharp decline in their water supplies.
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