Water Conservation Essay Example
Water Conservation Essay Example

Water Conservation Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2127 words)
  • Published: October 1, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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I want to emphasize the importance of water and highlight that our water supply is not unlimited. Although there is more water than land on Earth, only a small portion can be used by humans, animals, plants, and for food production. Approximately 97% of water is saltwater and 2% is frozen in glaciers and ice caps, leaving just 1% available for us to use. The scarcity of water is a major concern as dehydration can be fatal even quicker than starvation. Additionally, the shortage of water not only causes dehydration but also leads to starvation since we rely on it for the growth of consumed plants and animals. It's important to note that seemingly drinkable water may contain harmful elements that could result in illness or death if ingested. Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes pose significant r


isks to our already limited water supply. Among these disasters, drought is considered the most devastating one as it brings about dry conditions, unbearable heatwaves, impacts agriculture drastically alters our way of life (Kreger, 2004). Therefore, I urge people today to conserve water in order to combat the immorality caused by drought. As a concerned Californian and fellow dweller of Earth, we must consider the impact of water conservation on ourselves, our children, and even our grandchildren. This isn't just a request; I want to encourage and enforce the preservation of waterIf we fail to preserve our limited supply, it will decrease over time. A drought, similar to an earthquake or flood, is a natural disaster that poses a subtle threat to nature due to a lack of precipitation over an extended period in a specific

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area. Precipitation, which includes rain, snow, and sleet, plays a crucial role in determining the severity of a drought (Rupert, 2006). While insufficient precipitation is the main cause of droughts, other factors can also contribute. High pressure systems significantly contribute to causing droughts. Although these systems initially bring clear and cool weather, prolonged periods of high pressure eventually lead to drought (Wikipedia, 2007). The absence of maritime air masses is another contributing factor as coastal regions usually receive enough moisture from oceanic air currents. However, if these currents are not strong enough to transport evaporated water inland, it can result in drought conditions. These dry lands desperately need the missing rainfall (Wikipedia). Deforestation devastates forests and disrupts natural ecosystems leading to one of the leading causes of drought (Wikipedia). Moreover, deforestation has negative consequences such as depleting groundwater essential for maintaining healthy land (Collins, 2001).Droughts, often overlooked in comparison to hurricanes or tsunamis, have extensive effects on both the local ecosystem and individuals within the region, as well as across the entire country. These impacts can be observed socially, environmentally, and economically. Water is essential for producing goods and providing services. Droughts directly result in various consequences such as decreased crop productivity, reduced output from rangelands and forests, lower water levels, increased fire risk, higher rates of livestock and wildlife deaths, and damage to habitats for wildlife and fish (Think Quest, 2004). These effects set off a chain reaction. For instance, diminished crop productivity leads to reduced income for farmers which subsequently causes food prices to escalate along with unemployment rates and migration patterns. It is not only farmers who are affected; businesspeople catering to

their needs also witness a decline in activity. This ultimately results in unemployment rates and financial losses for the government. Recreational activities and tourism industries also face repercussions as tourists avoid countries undergoing severe water shortages. The scarcity of water can lead to insufficient goods necessitating costly importation from outside the afflicted area. Consequently, this can cause environmental harm to plant and animal species as well as wildlife habitats, air quality, and water quality (Think Quest 2004).Wetlands, lakes, and vegetation loss can result in the destruction of wildlife habitats and the eradication of certain animal species. Additionally, droughts can have social consequences due to water scarcity, leading to a lack of food and competition for survival. In response to these negative effects, people often leave affected areas in search of better access to water, sufficient food, and improved living conditions. Droughts are characterized by three phases: meteorological drought (lack of precipitation), agricultural drought (insufficient rainfall affecting farming and crop production), and hydrological drought (impacting water reserves with social and economic implications). The severity and duration of meteorological droughts vary based on location-specific precipitation levels. Different regions have distinct definitions of meteorological drought based on their climate patterns; for instance, Los Angeles defines it differently from Brazil due to scarce rainfall. Other climatic regions such as the central United States, northern Australia, and West Africa experience unique seasonal rainfall patterns. Agricultural drought is closely linked to various aspects of meteorological drought that directly impact agriculture—such as insufficient precipitation.The text explores the impacts of droughts on various aspects such as plants, water scarcity, malnutrition, and the economy. It emphasizes that prolonged periods without rain can result in

hydrological droughts, leading to water shortages and conflicts over its usage. Land use changes like deforestation and dike construction can alter the hydrological characteristics of a river basin.

Additionally, it mentions that the Dust Bowl in the 1930s was caused by poor agricultural practices and long-lasting droughts, which resulted in the loss of protective land cover. This environmental catastrophe created dust clouds from air currents on the Plains that darkened skies for days and left thick layers of dust on furniture resembling floating snow on farms. As a consequence, farm families were forced to abandon their lands due to foreclosure and destruction.

This disaster not only caused extensive damage but also had health consequences as people inhaled dust in the air and consumed contaminated water. Lung damage and even death occurred among those exposed to these storms. Furthermore, high-speed winds carried grains of dust causing irreparable damage to farm equipment, barns, houses, and cars.

Moreover,this period witnessed an unprecedented migration event in American history with over 2.5 million individuals leaving Dust Bowl areas heading west towards California (Rutherford, 1998). The impacts extended beyond agricultureDuring the 1930s, the negative impact of dust storms on the economy became evident as farmers struggled to sell their crops due to layers of dust covering them. This issue compounded an already struggling economic climate. The financial difficulties faced by farmers had severe consequences, including their inability to make payments for home maintenance and profit. It served as a catastrophic event that showcased the consequences of misunderstanding climate and implementing poor agricultural practices.

However, this event also resulted in increased awareness about these issues and prompted various precautionary measures. To address the problem, farmers began

seeking new water sources and improving soil conservation techniques to control wind-induced soil erosion. They discovered that certain areas of the Great Plains received less rainfall than initially believed, which led them to search for alternative water sources.

One crucial method they adopted was irrigation using the Ogallala Aquifer as their primary source. However, accessing this aquifer required technological advancements that were not available until the 20th century. Technological developments allowed for deeper wells to be developed, enabling better access to water resources. The introduction of pumps played a vital role in allowing deeper wells and increasing water flow.Center pivot irrigation, a method of distributing water through a rotating sprinkler system around a central point in the field, was eventually developed (Thompson, 1998). Shortly after the Dust Bowl impacted the entire state, President Roosevelt's administration implemented initiatives under his "New Deal" program to mitigate its damages. One notable response to the Dust Bowl was the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which aimed to address drought impacts in the Tennessee Valley area. The TVA focused on utilizing natural resources to drive societal and agricultural change by constructing versatile dikes, enhancing channels, implementing soil preservation methods, and executing watershed reforestation projects. The dikes built by the TVA provided local farmers and residents with cost-effective electricity, flood control measures, as well as improved navigation in channels and rivers (Thompson, 1998, pp.297-299). The Dust Bowl also prompted new farming techniques and emphasized the importance of soil preservation. Despite ongoing challenges posed by droughts and winds today, various precautions are now taken to prevent and mitigate their impact through proper soil conservation practices. It is crucial to question whether history will repeat

itself. Currently, Los Angeles is facing its own drought that began in July 2006.The downtown area has received less than four inches of rain since then. This summer is expected to be hotter than the previous one, which caused about one hundred deaths due to extreme heat waves. The current drought in Los Angeles surpasses the one from the 1970s and is the driest in over 130 years (Becerra, 2007). Unfortunately, people now consume more water despite being told to conserve it. The Department of Water and Power does not enforce regulations against daytime lawn watering or using car-washing hoses; instead, the mayor politely asks offenders to "consider" conserving water in the future (Morrison, 2007). It is our responsibility as Los Angeles residents to save our planet by protecting our remaining water sources and not solely relying on government efforts. Recognizing that we are facing a crisis demanding water conservation is crucial because without this understanding, people may not have any motivation to conserve water as they might see it as insignificant. Thankfully, there are numerous ways today, thanks to technological advancements, to conserve water. Desalination is a common method where machines purify and filter ocean water by removing excess salt and minerals so it becomes safe for consumption. This purified water can be used for various purposes like feeding livestock and irrigation. Additionally, desalination can also produce table salt.Rainwater harvesting is a simple method to conserve water, even in areas with low rainfall like California. It can support agriculture, irrigation, and provide portable water supplies. Additionally, it helps prevent high water bills and eliminates the need for constructing large reservoirs. On the other hand,

recycling water is a controversial approach that involves treating wastewater from sewage plants and purifying it for reuse. Recycled water has various uses such as drinking if it meets cleanliness standards, or irrigation to promote plant growth and nourish lawns. In some cases, recycled water is discharged into lakes or used in fountains.

Contrary to popular belief, conserving water can actually save money instead of costing money. There are simple ways individuals can unconsciously conserve water by planting shade trees that store and distribute water to the lawn while reducing the need for watering. These trees also provide shade which protects people from the sun and reduces overall water usage on the lawn. Fixing leaking pipes is another effective means of conserving water as it saves up to 20 gallons per day and reduces utility bills significantly. Furthermore, installing low-flow showerheads and taking shorter showers can save up to 500 gallons of water per monthUsing a broom instead of a hose when cleaning driveways helps conserve water resources. It is advisable to avoid watering the lawn during hot weather. Washing cars on top of lawns in the morning allows excess water to be used for watering the lawn, especially in hot summer months. It is also recommended to cover a pool when filling it with water to prevent evaporation. Conserving water not only benefits the environment but also saves money. Benjamin Franklin once said, "When the well is dry, we know the worth of water." It is crucial for us to start conserving water now so that we can appreciate its value without experiencing a shortage. Many people take water for granted and realize its importance

only when it becomes scarce. During a drought, everyone should make an effort to conserve water; however, daily conservation practices are essential as well since water is a vital resource. This includes eliminating wasteful practices such as allowing faucets to drip, fixing leaky toilets, and opting for showers instead of baths (Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 2003:10-11).

Work Cited:
Becerra, Hector."L.A. urges conserving H2O in dry enchantment." Los Angeles Times June 7, 2007.
Collins Jocelyn."Deforestation." Enviro Facts February 1, 2001.The topic of drought is discussed in various sources, including "Drought" on Wikipedia (June 4, 2007), Chris Kreger's article on the importance of water in Researching the Environment (2004), the University of Nebraska's publication "Make Every Drop Count" (June 12, 2007), Patt Morrison's piece on drought and its consequences in the Los Angeles Times (May 17, 2007), Chad Rutherford's article on the Dust Bowl from Lake Hamilton (June 5, 2007), Clarke Rupert's definition of drought from the State of New Jersey (June 28, 2006; June11, 2007), Stephen Thomson's book "Water Use Management and Planning in the United States" published by Elsevier in1998 (Pages297-299), a Wikipedia page titled "Water Conservation" (June11; June12) , information from the National Drought Mitigation Center about what constitutes a drought(2006; June10) by Larry West.

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