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What are potential and actual resources?

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Hint: Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Every country has its own resources on which the entire population relies. These resources are either natural or manmade.


Complete answer:

Actual Resources: Actual resources are the resources where quantity is known which are being used in the present. Actual resources are the ones surveyed, determined by their quantity and consistency. Coal, water, and petrol are actual resources. At the current time, they are being used. These resources have been surveyed, their quality and quantity are determined and are currently in use. The help of advanced technologies is used to dig out these resources. 


Some examples of these resources are natural oil reserves of the Middle East, the hydroelectric power of Niagara Falls, iron ore deposits of Madhya Pradesh, petroleum and natural gas in West Asia and India’s Mumbai High, dark soils in Deccan plateau and rich coal deposits in Germany. 


Potential Resources: The resources that are present in a specific region and can be used in the future are classified as potential resources. The exact quantity and consistency of the resource are uncertain. Advanced technology is needed to make the best use of these resources. 

Here we do not know the exact quantity and quality of the resource. We need advanced technology to use these resources in future. As technology grows it is possible to use it in the future. They are not actually being used.


Some examples are the existence of Mineral Oil is depicted in major parts of India where sedimentary rocks are found but the date it is actually drilled out and put into use, it remains as a potential resource. In the same way, Uranium found in the terrains of Ladakh also comes under this category. Almost 200 years back, high-speed winds were recognised as a potential resource, today it is used as an actual resource in wind farms for generating wind energy using windmills in the Netherlands, Nagercoil in Tamilnadu and Gujarat states of India.


Note: The distribution of natural resources depends upon many physical factors like land, climate and altitude. The distribution of resources is unequal because these factors differ from place to place on this earth.