When people talk about scarce natural resources the conversation is often about fossil fuels. However, one resource that is essential to life and often scarce, even in the western world, is water.
Despite wet winters, long, dry summers are becoming an increasing issue; you will almost certainly have experienced a water restriction measure within the last few years.
There are several reasons why this is the case:
- Environmental Issues – Pollution from spills can destroy water sources; resulting in a need to spend millions of additional funds cleaning the water. In addition, clearing large areas of land can pollute the water sources and even kill the wildlife in an area.
- Economic Factors – The cost of maintaining a water treatment works and all the pipe work is prohibitive. These costs need to be met by the consumer. However, if they are not then the system cannot provide clean water. This is a serious and increasing issue.
Natural Water Sources
The water which needs protecting is that which is already collected in lakes and reservoirs; as well as the sources of the water; the springs and even wells which bring the water out of the ground.
It takes surprisingly little effort to infect these water sources. This is the biggest risk and something that must be protected against.
Methods of protecting the Water Source
Everyone can help to protect the natural water sources through some simple adjustments:
- Minimize Use – Whilst this does not help to keep it clean, minimizing your use of water does help to ensure there is enough available; even when there has been no rain for several months; or longer.
- Education – Educating people and businesses on the effects of destroying land or polluting water sources is still the most effective tool. Most pollution is caused by humans; leaks from factories are one of the most common issues. By educating people so that they know the very real effect they can have on water sources; it is possible to change behavior and protect the water source before it becomes polluted.
- Treatment – The ability to treat water and remove an array of pollutants should enable the water supply which is available to be supplied to homes across the country.
- Location – If you are accessing water from a well then you may already be aware of how important the location is. Fresh water should never be located near potential pollutants. The same is true when dealing with large scale water collection. Of course, the water has already chosen its path; this means any businesses should take care to ensure their waste products are not discharged near the river.
Protecting our water sources is a case of using some common sense and avoiding polluting the water which is available. It can take months to restore the quality of a body of water; time you may not have if this is your only water source.