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MAIN Arrow to Going Green Guides Society Arrow to Going Green Guides Go Green Guides Arrow to Water Use & Conservation Water Use & Conservation

Like many 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.

Additionally, global 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.

The Middle 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.

Because 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.

Some nations, 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.

More about water management & conservation around the Web:

Water Conservation Tips, Facts & Resources - Consumer tips including 100 Ways to Conserve Water at home, in the backyard, or in the workplace plus an interactive quiz, blog, related resources.


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