Water Resource: The Importance Of Water Resources

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Water resources occupy a special place among other natural resources. Water is the most widely distributed substance on our planet: albeit in different amounts, it is available everywhere and plays a vital role in both the environment and human life. Of most importance is fresh water, Human life itself is impossible without it because it can be substituted by nothing else. Human beings have always consumed fresh water and used the various natural surface water bodies for a whole range of purposes. For many hundreds of years man’s impact on water resources was insignificant and entirely of a local character. The magnificent properties of natural waters - their renovation during the water cycle and their ability for self-purification - allowed…show more content…
In many parts of the world the unfavourable results of man’s long-term - often unreasonable - activities, have now been discovered. This concerns both the direct use of water resources and also the surface transformations that have taken place in many river catchments. To a large extent this has been due to a drastic increase in global water withdrawal since the 1950s. In turn, this increase was caused by the scientific and technological revolution which permitted the intense development in production capabilities in all spheres of the world economy. Compared with previous decades, annual water withdrawal during 19.51-60 increased fourfold. This occurred because of the dramatic expansion in irrigated areas, the growth in industrial and heat and power engineering water consumption, and the intensive construction of reservoirs in all continents. All over the world during the last 25-30 years there has been a massive anthropogenic change in the hydrological cycle of rivers and lakes, affecting their water quality, their potential as water resources and the global water budget. The extent of water resources, their spatial and temporal distribution, are determined not only by natural climate variations as previously, but now also by man’s economic activities. In many parts of the world water resources have become so depleted and much contaminated that they are already unable to meet the ever increasing demands made on them. This has become the main factor impeding economic development and population
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