Water Resources: An Introduction To Water Resources

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Introduction of Water Resources

To explain water resources concepts, let us first understand what is meant by water resources. Water resources are naturally occurring water supplies that have the potential to be beneficial. Agricultural, commercial, household, leisure, and environmental activities all use water. Water is needed for all living things to grow, live, and reproduce.

Just 3% of the Earth's water is freshwater, with significantly more than two-thirds of it frozen in polar ice caps and glaciers. The leftover unfrozen freshwater is mostly contained as groundwater, with nothing more than a limited amount found above ground or in the atmosphere.

While clean water is a natural renewable resource, the world's supply of groundwater is increasingly diminishing, with scarcity mostly happening in South America, Asia, and North America, though it is still uncertain how much natural regeneration balances this use and whether habitats are endangered. The introduction of water resources also tells about Water rights, which constitute the mechanism for allocating water supplies to water users (where the whole framework exists).


Types of Water Resources

Saltwater Resources: 

  • The planet's atmosphere is covered in saltwater. However, when it relates to potable water sources, saltwater is actually ineffective. Desalination plants, though they do operate, are in short supply due to the high energy costs associated with the operation.

  • Apart from spectacular ocean views, there have been saltwater opportunities through which humans gain profit. Saltwater fish is indeed a staple of many people's diets around the world. In addition, tidal waters have been used to generate hydroelectric power.

Groundwater Resources: 

  • Of all the freshwater resources, groundwater in the water natural resources is perhaps the most abundant. Part of the water that filters down into the soil via layers of dirt, clay, and rock stacks to the uppermost layers, providing water to the plants. 

  • This water is in the vadose region, which means it is unsaturated. Instead of water, almost all of the pores in the vadose zone are filled with air.

  • Inputs, outputs, and storage are the same for groundwater as they are for surface water. The crucial distinction is that, due to the slow turnover rate, groundwater storage is typically much greater (in volume) than surface water storage in comparison to inputs.

  • Because of this distinction, humans may use groundwater in an unsustainable manner over an extended period of time without suffering serious repercussions. Nonetheless, the average rate of drainage above a groundwater source is the upper limit for average groundwater use during the longer run.

Surface Water Resources: 

  • The water in lakes and rivers is known as surface water. Potable water, recreation, industry, agriculture, transportation, livestock, and hydroelectric energy are all uses for this water. 

  • Groundwater natural resources provide over 63 percent of the municipal water supply. Irrigation relies on surface water for 58 percent of all its water supply. Irrigation relies on groundwater for 58 percent of its water system. 

  • Surface water systems have nearly 98 percent of the water used by industry. As a result, maintaining and improving the surface water quality is critical. Watershed entities track streamflow and groundwater management on a regular basis. 

  • Flooding and drought conditions are predicted by monitoring streamflow. Since surface water provides most of the water used within the United States, water resources information and management are important. It is a chemical, biological, and physical test that determines how acceptable the water is. 

  • Electrical conductivity, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen levels, phosphorus levels, bacteria levels, and nitrogen levels are evaluated as indicators of water quality.

Importance of Water Resources in Points

Below mentioned is the importance of water resources in points:-

  • It is significant since life cannot survive without it.

  • Agricultural, commercial, household, leisure, and environmental activities all use water in some way.

  • Almost all of these human uses necessitate the use of freshwater.

  • Freshwater makes up just 2.5 percent of the Earth's total water, and over two-thirds of it is frozen in ice caps and glaciers.

  • In several regions of the world, water demand currently exceeds availability, as well as many other areas, are prepared to face this deficit in the near future.

  • Irrigation in agriculture is expected to account for 70% of global water consumption.

  • Because of the strong relationship between the atmosphere and the hydrologic cycle, climate change would have a direct effect on water supply all over the world.

  • Because of the rising human population, demand for water is increasing to the point that many of the world's main aquifers are depleting.

  • Numerous pollutants endanger water sources, but the dumping of raw sewage into water bodies is the most common, particularly in developing countries.

Technologies Used to Provide Fresh Water

Reclaimed Water: 

  • The method of turning wastewater into water that can be recycled and reused for other purposes is known as water reclamation (also known as wastewater reuse. Irrigating gardens and farm areas, as well as replenishing surface and groundwater, are examples of reuse (i.e., groundwater recharge). 

  • Reused water can even be used to meet specific needs of homes, industries, and industries (for example, bathroom flushing), and it can also be handled to meet drinking water requirements. 

  • Based on the method, this last alternative is referred to as "absolute potable reuse" or "indirect potable reuse."

Desalination: 

  • Desalination is a man-made process that converts saline water (usually seawater) to freshwater. Reverse and distillation osmosis is the most popular desalination method.

  • Desalination is actually more costly than most alternative water sources, and it only covers a small portion of overall human consumption. In arid regions, it is normally only economically feasible for greater uses (including certain household and industrial applications). 

  • However, desalination for agricultural application is on the rise in densely populated areas like Singapore and California. The Persian Gulf is where it is most widely used.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Water Resource Management?

Ans. The practice of planning, designing, distributing, and maintaining the most efficient usage of water resources is known as water resource management. It's a part of the water cycle that needs to be controlled.

Our life depends on the availability of water. The area of water resources management would have to keep adapting to the present and future challenges of water allocation. Decision-making will be much more complex as global climate change and the long-term effects of management decisions become more unpredictable. 

In order to support a population of over one billion people, water resource management in India should be done in a proper manner. Water management is a broad topic with ties to the agricultural, domestic, manufacturing, and household sectors, as well as water, fisheries, environment, and transportation in India.

2. What Steps Can Be Taken For Saving Our Water Resources?

Ans. The following steps can be taken for saving our water resources:-

  •  Turn off the taps.

  • Shower with less.

  • Purchase a toilet with a low-flush feature.

  • Save your soiled clothing for later.

  • Catch rainwater.

  • Fill the dishwasher

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