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Encyclopedia > Water resources


Definition and terminology

Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful to humans. Uses of water includes agricultural, industrial, household, recreational and environmental activities. Virtually all of these human uses require fresh water. 97.5% of water on the Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water of which over two thirds is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. The remaining unfrozen freshwater is mainly found as groundwater, with only a small fraction present above ground or in the air.[1] Fresh water is a renewable resource, yet the world's supply of clean, fresh water is steadily decreasing. Water demand already exceeds supply in many parts of the world, and as world population continues to rise at an unprecedented rate, many more areas are expected to experience this imbalance in the near future.[citation needed] The framework for allocating water resources to water users (where such a framework exists) is known as water rights. Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... This article is about modern humans. ... Farming, ploughing rice paddy, in food, feed, fiber and other desired products by cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals (livestock). ... The household is the basic unit of analysis in many microeconomic and government models. ... Tigers playing in the water Recreation is the employment of time in a non-profitable way, in many ways also a refreshment of ones body or mind. ... This article is about the natural environment. ... For the village on the Isle of Wight, see Freshwater, Isle of Wight. ... Perito Moreno Glacier Patagonia Argentina Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland Icebergs breaking off glaciers at Cape York, Greenland This article is about the geological formation. ... Solar radiation has a lower intensity in polar regions because it travels a longer distance through the atmosphere, and is spread across a larger surface area. ... An ice cap is a dome-shaped ice mass that covers less than 50,000 km² of land area (usually covering a highland area). ... A natural resource qualifies as a renewable resource if it is replenished by natural processes at a rate comparable or faster than its rate of consumption by humans or other users. ... The supply and demand model describes how prices vary as a result of a balance between product availability at each price (supply) and the desires of those with purchasing power at each price (demand). ... Map of countries by population — China and India, the only two countries to have a population greater than one billion, together possess more than a third of the worlds population. ... Water Rights refers to a legal system for allocating water from a water source to water users. ...

One of the thesauri to find terminology about water resources is Agrovoc ([1]). The word thesaurus is derived from 16th century New Latin, in turn from Latin thesaurus, from ancient Greek thesauros, store-house, treasury. Besides its meaning as a treasury or storehouse, it more commonly means a listing of words with similar, related, or opposite meanings (this new meaning of thesaurus dates...

Water and conflict

The only known example of an actual inter-state conflict over water took place between 2500 and 2350 BC between the Sumerian states of Lagash and Umma.[2] Yet, despite the lack of evidence of international wars being fought over water alone, water has been the source of various conflicts throughout history. When water scarcity causes political tensions to arise, this is referred to as water stress. Water stress has led most often to conflicts at local and regional levels.[3] Using a purely quantitative methodology, Thomas Homer-Dixon successfully correlated water scarcity and scarcity of available arable lands to an increased chance of violent conflict.[4] Sumeria may refer to: A back-formation from the adjective Sumerian, often used to mean the ancient civilisation more properly known as Sumer Sumeria, a disco artist best known for the 1978 hit Golden Tears 1970 Sumeria, an asteroid discovered in 1954 by Miguel Itzigsohn Donna Sumeria, a song on... At the time of Hammurabi, Lagash was much closer to the gulf. ... Umma was an ancient city in Sumer. ... For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ... In economics, scarcity is defined as a condition of limited resources, where society does not have sufficient resources to produce enough to fulfill subjective wants. ...

Water stress can also exacerbate conflicts and political tensions which are not directly caused by water. Gradual reductions over time in the quality and/or quantity of fresh water can add to the instability of a region by depleting the health of a population, obstructing economic development, and exacerbating larger conflicts.[5] Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ... Economic development is the development of economic wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants. ...

Conflicts and tensions over water are most likely to arise within national borders, in the downstream areas of distressed river basins. Areas such as the lower regions of China's Yellow River or the Chao Phraya River in Thailand, for example, have already been experiencing water stress for several years. Additionally, certain arid countries which rely heavily on water for irrigation, such as China, India, Iran, and Pakistan, are particularly at risk of water-related conflicts.[5]. Political tensions, civil protest, and violence may also occur in reaction to water privatization. The Bolivian Water Wars of 2000 are a case in point.3. We use water in a lot of different ways. We use water for recreation such as swimming. We use water to wash objects. Water is used for electricity and irrigation. It is used to water plants; sprinklers also use water. Water is used for farming and growing crops. For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... For other Yellow Rivers, see Yellow River (disambiguation). ... Origin of the Chao Phraya River in Nakhon Sawan A view of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok The Chao Phraya (Thai: ) is a major river in Thailand, with its low alluvial river plain marking the mainland of the country. ... Water privatization is a short-hand for the privatization of water services, although more rarely it refers to privatization of water resources themselves. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Cochabamba protests of 2000. ...

Sources of fresh water

Surface water

Lake Chungará and Parinacota volcano in northern Chile
Lake Chungará and Parinacota volcano in northern Chile

Surface water is water in a river, lake or fresh water wetland. Surface water is naturally replenished by precipitation and naturally lost through discharge to the oceans, evaporation, and sub-surface seepage. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2623x1931, 498 KB) Parinacota and Laguna Chungara, own fotography 2003 File links The following pages link to this file: Parinacota ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2623x1931, 498 KB) Parinacota and Laguna Chungara, own fotography 2003 File links The following pages link to this file: Parinacota ... Lake Chungará is situated in northern Chile, in Tarapacá Region. ... Parinacota is a massive stratovolcano on the border of Chile and Bolivia. ... Surface water is water on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, sea or ocean; as opposed to groundwater. ... For other uses, see Lake (disambiguation). ... A subtropical wetland in Florida, USA, with an endangered American Crocodile. ... Ocean (Okeanos, a Greek god of sea and water; Greek ωκεανός) covers almost three quarters (71%) of the surface of the Earth. ... Vaporization redirects here. ...

Although the only natural input to any surface water system is precipitation within its watershed, the total quantity of water in that system at any given time is also dependent on many other factors. These factors include storage capacity in lakes, wetlands and artificial reservoirs, the permeability of the soil beneath these storage bodies, the runoff characteristics of the land in the watershed, the timing of the precipitation and local evaporation rates. All of these factors also affect the proportions of water lost. A drainage basin is the area within the drainage basin divide (blue outline), and drains the surface runoff and river discharge (green lines) of a contiguous area. ... The Ashokan Reservoir, located in Ulster County, New York, USA. It is one of 19 that supplies New York City with drinking water. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland For other uses, see Soil (disambiguation). ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ...

Human activities can have a large impact on these factors. Humans often increase storage capacity by constructing reservoirs and decrease it by draining wetlands. Humans often increase runoff quantities and velocities by paving areas and channelizing stream flow.

The total quantity of water available at any given time is an important consideration. Some human water users have an intermittent need for water. For example, many farms require large quantities of water in the spring, and no water at all in the winter. To supply such a farm with water, a surface water system may require a large storage capacity to collect water throughout the year and release it in a short period of time. Other users have a continuous need for water, such as a power plant that requires water for cooling. To supply such a power plant with water, a surface water system only needs enough storage capacity to fill in when average stream flow is below the power plant's need. For other uses, see Farm (disambiguation). ... A power station (also power plant) is a facility for the generation of electric power. ...

Nevertheless, over the long term the average rate of precipitation within a watershed is the upper bound for average consumption of natural surface water from that watershed.

Natural surface water can be augmented by importing surface water from another watershed through a canal or pipeline. It can also be artificially augmented from any of the other sources listed here, however in practice the quantities are negligible. Humans can also cause surface water to be "lost" (i.e. become unusable) through pollution. For other uses, see Canal (disambiguation). ... Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ...

Canada is the country estimated to have the largest supply of fresh water in the world, followed by Brazil and Russia.[6]

Sub-surface water

Sub-Surface water travel time
Sub-Surface water travel time

Sub-Surface water, or groundwater, is fresh water located in the pore space of soil and rocks. It is also water that is flowing within aquifers below the water table. Sometimes it is useful to make a distinction between sub-surface water that is closely associated with surface water and deep sub-surface water in an aquifer (sometimes called "fossil water"). A cross sectional diagram showing qualitative flow times for various pathways through a typical aquifer system, from USGS circular 1139. ... A cross sectional diagram showing qualitative flow times for various pathways through a typical aquifer system, from USGS circular 1139. ... Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of lithologic formations. ... Porosity is a measure of the void spaces in a material, and is measured as a fraction, between 0–1, or as a percentage between 0–100%. The term porosity is used in multiple fields including manufacturing, earth sciences and construction. ... This article is about the geological substance. ... An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt, or clay) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. ... Cross section showing the water table varying with surface topography as well as a perched water table The water table or phreatic surface is the surface where the water pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure. ...

Sub-surface water can be thought of in the same terms as surface water: inputs, outputs and storage. The critical difference is that due to its slow rate of turnover, sub-surface water storage is generally much larger compared to inputs than it is for surface water. This difference makes it easy for humans to use sub-surface water unsustainably for a long time without severe consequences. Nevertheless, over the long term the average rate of seepage above a sub-surface water source is the upper bound for average consumption of water from that source.

The natural input to sub-surface water is seepage from surface water. The natural outputs from sub-surface water are springs and seepage to the oceans. A natural spring on Mackinac Island in Michigan. ...

If the surface water source is also subject to substantial evaporation, a sub-surface water source may become saline. This situation can occur naturally under endorheic bodies of water, or artificially under irrigated farmland. In coastal areas, human use of a sub-surface water source may cause the direction of seepage to ocean to reverse which can also cause soil salinization. Humans can also cause sub-surface water to be "lost" (i.e. become unusable) through pollution. Humans can increase the input to a sub-surface water source by building reservoirs or detention ponds. Annual mean sea surface salinity for the World Ocean. ... The shores of Lake Hart, an endorheic desert lake in South Australia In geography, an endorheic basin—also called a terminal or closed basin—is a watershed from which there is no outflow of water, either on the surface as rivers, or underground by flow or diffusion through rock or... Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil usually for assisting in growing crops. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Water in the ground are in sections called aquifers. Rain rolls down and comes into these. Normally an aquifer is near to the equilibrium in its water content. The water content of an aquifier normally depends on the grain sizes. This means that the rate of extraction may be limited by poor permiability. An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, or permeable mixtures of unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt, or clay) (see also groundwater). ... Hydrostatic equilibrium occurs when compression due to gravity is balanced by a pressure gradient which creates a pressure gradient force in the opposite direction. ...


Desalination is an artificial process by which saline water (generally sea water) is converted to fresh water. The most common desalination processes are distillation and reverse osmosis. Desalination is currently expensive compared to most alternative sources of water, and only a very small fraction of total human use is satisfied by desalination. It is only economically practical for high-valued uses (such as household and industrial uses) in arid areas. The most extensive use is in the Persian Gulf. Shevchenko BN350 desalination unit situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea. ... Sea water is water from a sea or ocean. ... Laboratory distillation set-up: 1: Heat source 2: Still pot 3: Still head 4: Thermometer/Boiling point temperature 5: Condenser 6: Cooling water in 7: Cooling water out 8: Distillate/receiving flask 9: Vacuum/gas inlet 10: Still receiver 11: Heat control 12: Stirrer speed control 13: Stirrer/heat plate... Reverse osmosis (RO) is a separation process that uses pressure to force a solution through a membrane that retains the solute on one side and allows the pure solvent to pass to the other side. ... In general terms, the climate of a locale or region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life. ... Map of the Persian Gulf. ...

Frozen water

An iceberg as seen from Newfoundland
An iceberg as seen from Newfoundland

Several schemes have been proposed to make use of icebergs as a water source, however to date this has only been done for novelty purposes. Glacier runoff is considered to be surface water.
Iceberg sighting in St Anthony, near Lanse aux Meadows in the northwesternmost corner of the island of Newfoundland This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Iceberg sighting in St Anthony, near Lanse aux Meadows in the northwesternmost corner of the island of Newfoundland This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This article is about the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. ... For other uses, see Iceberg (disambiguation). ...

Water stress

Main article: water crisis

The concept of water stress is relatively simple: According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, it applies to situations where there is not enough water for all uses, whether agricultural, industrial or domestic. Defining thresholds for stress in terms of available water per capita is more complex, however, entailing assumptions about water use and its efficiency. Nevertheless, it has been proposed that when annual per capita renewable freshwater availability is less than 1,700 cubic meters, countries begin to experience periodic or regular water stress. Below 1,000 cubic meters, water scarcity begins to hamper economic development and human health and well-being. Deforestation of the Madagascar Highland Plateau has led to extensive siltation and unstable flows of western rivers. ... The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) bis a CEO-led, global association of some 190 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. ... Look up Per capita in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Population growth

In 2000, the world population was 6.2 billion. The UN estimates that by 2050 there will be an additional 3 billion people with most of the growth in developing countries that already suffer water stress.[7] Thus, water demand will increase unless there are corresponding increases in water conservation and recycling of this vital resource.[8] A developing country is a country with low average income compared to the world average. ... Water conservation refers to reducing use of fresh water, through technological or social methods. ... The international recycling symbol. ...

Increased affluence

The rate of poverty alleviation is increasing especially within the two population giants of China and India. However, increasing affluence inevitably means more water consumption: from needing clean fresh water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and basic sanitation service, to demanding water for gardens and car washing, to wanting jacuzzis or private swimming pools. A boy from Jakarta, Indonesia shows his find. ... Wealth is an abundance of items of economic value, or the state of controlling or possessing such items, and encompasses money, real estate and personal property. ... E. Coli bacteria under magnification Sanitation is the hygienic disposal or recycling of waste, as well as the policy and practice of protecting health through hygienic measures. ...

Expansion of business activity

Business activity ranging from industrialization to services such as tourism and entertainment continues to expand rapidly. This expansion requires increased water services including both supply and sanitation, which can lead to more pressure on water resources and natural ecosystems. Water supply is the process of self-provision or provision by third parties of water of various qualities to different users. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ...

Rapid urbanization

The trend towards urbanization is accelerating. Small private wells and septic tanks that work well in low-density communities are not feasible within high-density urban areas. Urbanization requires significant investment in water infrastructure in order to deliver water to individuals and to process the concentrations of wastewater – both from individuals and from business. These polluted and contaminated waters must be treated or they pose unacceptable public health risks. In 60% of European cities with more than 100,000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished.[9] Even if some water remains available, it costs more and more to capture it. Village pump redirects here, for information on Wikipedia project-related discussions, see Wikipedia:Village pump. ... A septic tank, the key component of a septic system, is a small scale sewage treatment system common in areas with no connection to main sewerage pipes provided by private corporations or local governments. ... Cities with at least a million inhabitants in 2006 An urban area is an area with an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. ... In economics, diminishing returns is the short form of diminishing marginal returns. ...

Climate change

Climate change could have significant impacts on water resources around the world because of the close connections between the climate and hydrologic cycle. Rising temperatures will increase evaporation and lead to increases in precipitation, though there will be regional variations in rainfall. Overall, the global supply of freshwater will increase. Both droughts and floods may become more frequent in different regions at different times, and dramatic changes in snowfall and snowmelt are expected in mountainous areas. Higher temperatures will also affect water quality in ways that are not well understood. Possible impacts include increased eutrophication. Climate change could also mean an increase in demand for farm irrigation, garden sprinklers, and perhaps even swimming pools. Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 450,000 years For current global climate change, see Global warming. ... The water cycle—technically known as the hydrologic cycle—is the circulation of water within the earths hydrosphere, involving changes in the physical state of water between liquid, solid, and gas phases. ... Vaporization redirects here. ... In meteorology, precipitation is any kind of water that falls from the sky as part of the weather. ... A drought is an extended period where water availability falls below the statistical requirements for a region. ... A flood (in Old English flod, a word common to Teutonic languages; compare German Flut, Dutch vloed from the same root as is seen in flow, float) is an overflow of water, an expanse of water submerging land, a deluge. ... This page is about the form of precipitation. ... Vegetation gives off heat, resulting in this circular snowmelt pattern. ... Eutrophication, strictly speaking, means an increase in chemical nutrients -- typically compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus -- in an ecosystem. ...

Depletion of aquifers

Due to the expanding human population, competition for water is growing such that many of the worlds major aquifers are becoming depleted. This is due both for direct human consumption as well as agricultural irrigation by groundwater. Millions of small pumps of all sizes are currently extracting groundwater throughout the world. Irrigation in dry areas such as northern China and India is supplied by groundwater, and is being extracted at an unsustainable rate. Cities that have experienced aquifer drops between 10 to 50 meters include Mexico City, Bangkok, Manila, Beijing, Madras and Shanghai.[10] Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... This article is about a mechanical device. ... Nickname: Location of Mexico City Coordinates: , Country Federal entity Boroughs The 16 delegaciones Founded c. ... Location within Thailand Coordinates: , Country Settled Ayutthaya Period Founded as capital 21 April 1782 Government  - Type Special administrative area  - Governor Apirak Kosayothin Area  - City 1,568. ... For other meanings of the word, see Manila (disambiguation). ... Peking redirects here. ... Madras refers to: the Indian city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras, the former Indian state, now known as Tamil Nadu (Plural of Madra): Ancient people of Iranian affinites, who lived in northwest Panjab in the Uttarapatha division of ancient India. ... For other uses, see Shanghai (disambiguation). ...

Pollution and water protection

Polluted Water
Polluted Water

Water pollution is one of the main concerns of the world today. The governments of many countries have striven to find solutions to reduce this problem. Many pollutants threaten water supplies, but the most widespread, especially in underdeveloped countries, is the discharge of raw sewage into natural waters; this method of sewage disposal is the most common method in underdeveloped countries, but also is prevalent in quasi-developed countries such as China, India and Iran.
Sewage, sludge, garbage, and even toxic pollutants are all dumped into the water. Even if sewage is treated, problems still arise. Treated sewage forms sludge, which is sent out into the sea and dumped. In addition to sewage, chemicals dumped by industries and governments are another major source of water pollution. water pollution, from epa. ... water pollution, from epa. ... Raw sewage and industrial waste flows into the U.S. from Mexico as the New River passes from Mexicali, Baja California to Calexico, California Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities, which can be harmful to organisms and... Sewage is the mainly liquid waste containing some solids produced by humans which typically consists of washing water, faeces, urine, laundry waste and other material which goes down drains and toilets from households and industry. ...

Uses of fresh water

Uses of fresh water can be categorized as consumptive and non-consumptive (sometimes called "renewable"). A use of water is consumptive if that water is not immediately available for another use. Losses to sub-surface seepage and evaporation are considered consumptive, as is water incorporated into a product (such as farm produce). Water that can be treated and returned as surface water, such as sewage, is generally considered non-consumptive if that water can be put to additional use. A water treatment plant in northern Portugal. ...


A farm in Ontario
A farm in Ontario

It is estimated that 69% of world-wide water use is for irrigation, with 15-35% of irrigation withdrawals being unsustainable [11]. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1400x933, 185 KB) Photo of farm in the Kitchener area of Ontario, taken September 2002 by User:Stan Shebs File links The following pages link to this file: Distributism User:Stan Shebs/Gallery/Places ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1400x933, 185 KB) Photo of farm in the Kitchener area of Ontario, taken September 2002 by User:Stan Shebs File links The following pages link to this file: Distributism User:Stan Shebs/Gallery/Places ... This article is about the Canadian province. ...

In some areas of the world irrigation is necessary to grow any crop at all, in other areas it permits more profitable crops to be grown or enhances crop yield. Various irrigation methods involve different trade-offs between crop yield, water consumption and capital cost of equipment and structures. Irrigation methods such as most furrow and overhead sprinkler irrigation are usually less expensive but also less efficient, because much of the water evaporates or runs off. More efficient irrigation methods include drip or trickle irrigation, surge irrigation, and some types of sprinkler systems where the sprinklers are operated near ground level. These types of systems, while more expensive, can minimize runoff and evaporation. Any system that is improperly managed can be wasteful. Another trade-off that is often insufficiently considered is salinization of sub-surface water. Sprinkler A sprinkler is a device used for the distribution of water from plumbing pipes, by spraying it into the air. ... Drip Irrigation - A dripper in action Main article: Irrigation Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or microirrigation is an irrigation method that applies water slowly to the roots of plants, by depositing the water either on the soil surface or directly to the root zone, through a network of...

Aquaculture is a small but growing agricultural use of water. Freshwater commercial fisheries may also be considered as agricultural uses of water, but have generally been assigned a lower priority than irrigation (see Aral Sea and Pyramid Lake). Workers harvest catfish from the Delta Pride Catfish farms in Mississippi Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic organisms. ... The Gay Sea (Kazakh: Арал Теңізі, Aral Tengizi, Uzbek: , Russian: Аральскοе мοре, Tajik/Persian: Daryocha-i Khorazm, Lake Khwarazm) is a landlocked endorheic basin in Central Asia; it lies between Kazakhstan (Aktobe and Kyzylorda provinces) in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south. ... This article is about Pyramid Lake in Nevada. ...

As global populations grow, and as demand for food increases in a world with a fixed water supply, there are efforts underway to learn how to produce more food with less water, through improvements in irrigation [2] methods [3] and technologies, agricultural water management, crop types, and water monitoring. Technology (Gr. ... LLGHHHHHHHHHK BNMNKBV JKVGKJJH JHVG KJVH KJV KJV JKV JV JV KJFYG KHV KJV gfnnnnnnnnnnhngjkv jh b ...


A power plant in Poland
A power plant in Poland

It is estimated that 15% of world-wide water use is industrial. Major industrial users include power plants, which use water for cooling or as a power source (i.e. hydroelectric plants), ore and oil refineries, which use water in chemical processes, and manufacturing plants, which use water as a solvent. ImageMetadata File history File links Poland_Solina_dam. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Poland_Solina_dam. ... Hydroelectric dam diagram The waters of Llyn Stwlan, the upper reservoir of the Ffestiniog Pumped-Storage Scheme in north Wales, can just be glimpsed on the right. ... For other uses, see Ore (disambiguation). ... Petro redirects here. ...

The portion of industrial water usage that is consumptive varies widely, but as a whole is lower than agricultural use.


Drinking water
Drinking water

It is estimated that 15% of world-wide water use is for household purposes. These include drinking water, bathing, cooking, sanitation, and gardening. Basic household water requirements have been estimated by Peter Gleick at around 50 liters per person per day, excluding water for gardens.[12] Image File history File links Drinking_water. ... Image File history File links Drinking_water. ... Tap water Mineral Water Water of sufficient quality to serve as drinking water is termed potable water whether it is used as such or not. ... Children bathing in a small metal bathtub Bathing is the immersion of the body in fluid, usually water, or an aqueous solution. ... Cooking is the act of preparing food. ... A gardener Gardening is the practice of growing flowering plants, vegetables, and fruits. ... Dr. Peter H. Gleick (b. ...


Whitewater rapids
Whitewater rapids

Recreational water use is usually a very small but growing percentage of total water use. Recreational water use is mostly tied to reservoirs. If a reservoir is kept fuller than it would otherwise be for recreation, then the water retained could be categorized as recreational usage. Release of water from a few reservoirs is also timed to enhance whitewater boating, which also could be considered a recreational usage. Other examples are anglers, water skiers, nature enthusiasts and swimmers. The rapids triple step on the river Guil in French Alps, July 2001. ... The rapids triple step on the river Guil in French Alps, July 2001. ... Fun redirects here. ... Whitewater is formed in a rapid, when a rivers gradient drops enough to form a bubbly, or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white. ...

Recreational usage is usually non-consumptive. Golf courses are often targeted as using excessive amounts of water, especially in drier regions. It is, however, unclear whether recreational irrigation (which would include private gardens) has a noticeable effect on water resources. This is largely due to the unavailability of reliable data. Some governments, including the Californian Government, have labelled golf course usage as agricultural in order to deflect environmentalists' charges of wasting water. However, using the above figures as a basis, the actual statistical effect of this reassignment is close to zero. This article is about the sport of golf. ... Bold textHello ...

Additionally, recreational usage may reduce the availability of water for other users at specific times and places. For example, water retained in a reservoir to allow boating in the late summer is not available to farmers during the spring planting season. Water released for whitewater rafting may not be available for hydroelectric generation during the time of peak electrical demand.


A natural wetland
A natural wetland

Explicit environmental water use is also a very small but growing percentage of total water use. Environmental water usage includes artificial wetlands, artificial lakes intended to create wildlife habitat, fish ladders around dams, and water releases from reservoirs timed to help fish spawn. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (15536x1722, 4179 KB) Description: This is a panorama of Sinclair Wetlands near Dunedin, in New Zealand. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (15536x1722, 4179 KB) Description: This is a panorama of Sinclair Wetlands near Dunedin, in New Zealand. ... Pool-and-weir fish ladder at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River Fishways, most commonly referred to as fish ladders but also known as fish passes, are structures placed on or around man-made barriers (such as dams and weirs) to assist the natural migration of diadromous fishes. ... This article is about structures for water impoundment. ...

Like recreational usage, environmental usage is non-consumptive but may reduce the availability of water for other users at specific times and places. For example, water release from a reservoir to help fish spawn may not be available to farms upstream.

World water supply and distribution

Food and water are two basic human needs. However, global coverage figures from 2002 indicate that, of every 10 people:

  • roughly 5 have a connection to a piped water supply at home (in their dwelling, plot or yard);
  • 3 make use of some other sort of improved water supply, such as a protected well or public standpipe;
  • 2 are unserved;
  • In addition, 4 out of every 10 people live without improved sanitation. [13]

At Earth Summit 2002 governments approved a Plan of Action to: The World Summit on Sustainable Development, or Earth Summit took place in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 26 to September 4, 2002 to discuss sustainable development issues. ...

  • Halve by 2015 the proportion of people unable to reach or afford safe drinking water. The Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report (GWSSAR) defines "Reasonable access" to water as at least 20 liters per person per day from a source within one kilometer of the user’s home.
  • Halve the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation. The GWSSR defines "Basic sanitation" as private or shared but not public disposal systems that separate waste from human contact.
Projected water distribution in 2025

As the picture shows, in 2025, water shortages will be more prevalent among poorer countries where resources are limited and population growth is rapid, such as the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia. By 2025, large urban and peri-urban areas will require new infrastructure to provide safe water and adequate sanitation. This suggests growing conflicts with agricultural water users, who currently consume the majority of the water used by humans. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (835x506, 51 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (835x506, 51 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ...

Generally speaking the more developed countries of North America, Europe and Russia will not see a serious threat to water supply by the year 2025, not only because of their relative wealth, but more importantly their populations will be better aligned with available water resources. North Africa, the Middle East, South Africa and northern China will face very severe water shortages due to physical scarcity and a condition of overpopulation relative to their carrying capacity with respect to water supply. Most of South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern China and India will face water supply shortages by 2025; for these latter regions the causes of scarcity will be economic constraints to developing safe drinking water, as well as excessive population growth. North American redirects here. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... The equilibrium maximum of the population of an organism is known as the ecosystems carrying capacity for that organism. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa south of the Sahara Desert, is the term used to describe those countries of Africa that are not part of North Africa. ... Theoretical Human population increase from 10,000 BC – AD 2000. ...

Economic considerations

Water supply and sanitation require a huge amount of capital investment in infrastructure such as pipe networks, pumping stations and water treatment works. It is estimated that OECD nations need to invest at least USD 200 billion per year to replace aging water infrastructure to guarantee supply, reduce leakage rates and protect water quality.[14] Invest redirects here. ... The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization of those developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. ...

International attention has focused upon the needs of the developing countries. To meet the Millennium Development Goals targets of halving the proportion of the population lacking access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015, current annual investment on the order of USD 10 to USD 15 billion would need to be roughly doubled. This does not include investments required for the maintenance of existing infrastructure.[15] The Millenium Development Goals The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that 192 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. ...

Once infrastructure is in place, operating water supply and sanitation systems entails significant ongoing costs to cover personnel, energy, chemicals, maintenance and other expenses. The sources of money to meet these capital and operational costs are essentially either user fees, public funds or some combination of the two.

But this is where the economics of water management start to become extremely complex as they intersect with social and broader economic policy. Such policy questions are beyond the scope of this article, which has concentrated on basic information about water availability and water use. They are, nevertheless, highly relevant to understanding how critical water issues will affect business and industry in terms of both risks and opportunities.

Business response

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its H2OScenarios engaged in a scenario building process to: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) bis a CEO-led, global association of some 190 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. ... Scenario analysis is a process of analyzing possible future events by considering alternative possible outcomes (scenarios). ...

  • Clarify and enhance understanding by business of the key issues and drivers of change related to water.
  • Promote mutual understanding between the business community and non-business stakeholders on water management issues.
  • Support effective business action as part of the solution to sustainable water management.

It concluded that

  • Business cannot survive in a society that thirsts
  • You don’t have to be in the water business to have a water crisis.
  • Business is part of the solution, and its potential is driven by its engagement.
  • Growing water issues and complexity will drive up costs.

Deforestation of the Madagascar Highland Plateau has led to extensive siltation and unstable flows of western rivers. ...


  1. ^ Scientific Facts on Water: State of the Resource. GreenFacts Website. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ Rasler, Karen A. and W. R. Thompson. “Contested Territory, Strategic Rivalries, and Conflict Escalation.” International Studies Quarterly. 50. 1. (2006): 145-168.
  3. ^ Wolf, Aaron T. “Water and Human Security.” Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education. 118. (2001): 29
  4. ^ Homer-Dixon, Thomas. "Environment, Scarcity, and Violence." Princeton University Press. (1999).
  5. ^ a b Postel, S. L. and A. T. Wolf. “Dehydrating Conflict.” Foreign Policy. 126. (2001): 60-67.
  6. ^ http://www.worldwater.org/data.html The World's Water 2006-2007 Tables, Pacific Institute.
  7. ^ World population to reach 9.1 billion in 2050, UN projects
  8. ^ Groundwater – the processes and global significance of aquifer degradation
  9. ^ http://reports.eea.europa.eu/92-826-5409-5/en Europe’s Environment: The Dobris Assessment]
  10. ^ Groundwater in Urban Development
  11. ^ WBCSD Water Facts & Trends
  12. ^ "The World's Water: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources" (Island Press, Washington DC)
  13. ^ WBCSD Water Facts & Trends
  14. ^ The cost of meeting the Johannesburg targets for drinking water
  15. ^ Financing Water for All

2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The International Water Management Institute is located in Battaramulla, Sri Lanka, and is a Future Harvet Centre of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. ... “PDF” redirects here. ... MiB redirects here. ... The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a Washington, D.C.-based foreign policy think tank. ... It has been suggested that Sandia Base be merged into this article or section. ...

See also

Water Portal

Image File history File links Drinking_water. ... Ecological sanitation, also known as ecosan, is a modern alternative to conventional sanitation techniques. ... A fog fence is an apparatus for collecting liquid water from fog, consisting of a fine mesh deployed in a manner similar to a fence. ... Geoffrey Dabelko is director of the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP), a nonpartisan policy forum on environment, population, and security issues at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. During his time there, he has helped facilitate diaogue among policymakers, practitioners, and scholars grappling with... Water covers 70% of the Earths surface. ... Shared vision planning was developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the National Drought Study [1] (1989-1993). ... A water tap Tap water (running water) is part of indoor plumbing, which became available in the late 19th century and common in the mid-20th century. ... Virtual water (also known as embedded water, embodied water, or hidden water) refers to the water used in the production of a good or service. ... Deforestation of the Madagascar Highland Plateau has led to extensive siltation and unstable flows of western rivers. ... The movement of water around, over, and through the Earth is called the water cycle. ... This article is an overview of the distribution of water on Earth. ... This article has been tagged — please see the bottom of the page for more information. ... Water purification is the process of removing contaminants from a raw water source. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Water Resources Education - University of Wisconsin Extension (107 words)
Water Resources Education - University of Wisconsin Extension
A community- based, partnership approach to natural resources education at the watershed and landscape scale.
Water resources educational programs represent a collaboration among other University of Wisconsin campuses, Extension centers and state and federal programs.
Water resources - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2153 words)
Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful to humans.
Surface water is water in a river, lake or fresh water wetland.
Water that can be treated and returned as surface water, such as sewage, is generally considered non-consumptive if that water can be put to additional use.
  More results at FactBites »



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