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What are the reasons for the global water shortages?

The severe water shortage is one of the most serious long-range environmental
problems facing our nation. How can this be? Although this is an enormous amount of
water, the impending shortage is real. There are several reasons: (1) rapidly increasing
population, (2) rising demand by agriculture, industry, and cities, (3) flagrant waste,
(4) unequal distribution, and (5) pollution.

1. Rapidly increasing population. The unsustainably high rate of human population

growth and natural resource consumption was one of the indirect causes of
biodiversity losses. The rates and magnitude of this growth and the eventual size at
which the global population stabilizes are critical considerations for biodiversity that
depend on social and economic measures. The solution is to expand human capacity to
conserve biodiversity. Increase the public appreciation and awareness of biodiversity's
values and importance. Help institutions disseminate the information needed to
conserve biodiversity and mobilize its benefits. Promote basic and applied research
on biodiversity conservation. Develop human capacity for biodiversity conservation.

2. Agriculture. The agriculture needs some amount of water to survive. Fortunately,

our country has a very big amount of rain so this situation is just a small matter. But
for others country that has drought and to shared the limited water to other sectors
could make things worse.

3. Industry. Water is used by industry to cool equipment, for use in products, and
to make steam to generate electrical power. In the United States, electrical power
plants use 12 billion liters (3.2 billion gallons) a day (Olivier et al 1995). It takes 53.2
liters (14 gallons) of water to 151 make a pound of sugar, 570 liters (150 gallons) for
the Sunday newspaper, and 247,000 liters (65,000 gallons) to produce an automobile
(Olivier et al 1995).

4. Unequal distribution. Water problems are not caused by absolute shortages in

supply. They are problems of distribution resulting from the intensive concentration of
water-using people and industry.

5. Pollution. Contamination of lakes, streams, and groundwater contributes

significantly to our nation's water storage.

These problems are already causing regional shortages that are bound to grow worse
as our population increases.


Powell J. M. 1980 Approaches to Resource Management. Spicer B. J. An Introduction for Australian

Students. Sorrett Publishing. Pg 65-68

John D. B. 1968. The Management and Conservation of Biological Resource. Davis Company
Philadelphia Pg 42