Water shortages occur whenever the use of fresh water outstrips the supply from precipitation and the water cycle. While wasted water re-enters the water cycle and is eventually available again for re-use, the time necessary for water to pass into the water table and replenish aquifers means that overuse can temporarily drain these important water sources. Dry weather can also cause shortages due to a lack of replenishing precipitation.Continue Reading
A major source of water overuse is agriculture. Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of the freshwater use in the world, and as much as 60 percent of that water is wasted due to poorly maintained irrigation equipment or poor irrigation techniques. This excess water simply runs off of farmland or is absorbed through the ground back into the water table, but it can take a considerable amount of time for it to return to the aquifer that initially supplied it.
Water shortages can also be economic in nature. Especially in dry regions of the globe, access to water can be extremely important, and communities may feud over rights to a particular reservoir. In some cases, water may be pumped from a source over a significant distance to provide water for citizens in dry areas, leaving those in the source region lacking their natural water supply.Learn more about Environmental Science
Environmental protection is important for several reasons, such as ensuring a lasting supply of resources, as well as providing access to clean food and water. Adequate environmental protection helps to reduce the risk of related health problems, such as asthma, and promotes a healthier environment in places where humans live, work and learn.Full Answer >
Activated alumina, ion exchange and reverse osmosis are all effective devices for greatly reducing or completely removing arsenic levels from a water supply. The best method for arsenic filtration depends on the type of arsenic compound that is present in the water supply, the level of experience the operator has in using the unit, and the chemistry of the water being filtered.Full Answer >
Watersheds are significant because they help replenish the supply of fresh water available for drinking water. A watershed is an area that gathers water from rain, snow and other forms of precipitation and channels it toward rivers, streams, reservoirs and other accumulation points.Full Answer >
The size and composition of clouds and the overall amount of precipitation are some examples of measurable information that is obtained by studying the water cycle. This type of information is helpful for tracking changes in the Earth's climate.Full Answer >