According to World Waters Council 2010, over a sixth of the world population has no access to safe drinking water. It is estimated that 70% of the world surface is covered with water, 97% of this water is salty found in oceans and seas, and 2% are in polar ice shields. The remaining one percent is freshwater. An increase in world population, industrialization, and urbanization has resulted in an increased water demand both for domestic and industrial use (Water control council, 2010). Water depletion is used to refer to the degradation of quality and quantity of water. The physical results of water depletion include; bioaccumulation of agrochemicals, shrinking of water bodies like rivers, swamps, and aquifers, algal blooms, and silting of dams. This paper discusses the causes of water depletion and its consequences; finally, it will discuss how public and private entities can collaborate to reduce water depletion.
Causes of water depletion
Water scarcity occurs when there is excessive withdraw of water from lakes, rivers, and underground water. The remaining water cannot adequately satisfy industrial, people, and ecosystem needs. The increased human population is the major cause of water depletion. People need water for domestic use and in efforts to find a livelihood, they engage in activities, which end up reducing the sanity of water. In domestic use, people are not keen to ensure that they use water effectively and recycle it. After using water, they just pour the water or let it run into sewer systems. Dirty water from domestic use finds its way to water bodies through run-offs or penetrating into the ground to pollute underground water (Gunilla, 2009).
The industrialization has resulted in an increased water demand; water is used in production. Industries waste contains chemicals, physical matters, microbes, nutrients, heavy metals, greenhouse gases, organic chemicals, and fossil fuels among others. These wastes find their way to water bodies and reduce water salinity. In the United States, there are 370,000 industries that use water daily. They produce toxic materials to the environment that find their way to water bodies polluting them (Gunilla, 2009).
Water depletion affects people and animal’s life; without water, life cannot continue. The most obvious cause of water depletion is the lack of safe drinking water and water for industrial use. Polluted water causes water-borne diseases to animals and plants for example sodium from water is evident in cardiovascular disease, nitrates, and Mercury in blood pressure disorders and nervous disorders respectively. This is a cost to an economy thus limiting the rate of growth of world economies. Agriculture is the backbone of many world economies and source of food. If water is depleted, irrigation will not be possible, rain patterns will be affected leaving the world to suffer from hunger (Goel, (2006).
How the government and private sector can collaborate and reduce water depletion
For successful water conservation, the government should embark on massive campaigns to enlighten the public on the need to conserve water. Using water is inevitable, but wastage reduction methods should be emphasized. For example, water should be recycled and used effectively by either human beings or industries. Different governments should enact laws that protect the salinity of the water. They include laws that protect waste disposal in water bodies. To ensure that such rules are adhered to, there should be both punishments on violators and incentives to those who uphold them.
Private sectors should take the responsibility of conserving water to be part of their duty and practice it when producing. Internal processes should be developed to ensure they consume minimum water and water wastage is reduced. Recycling of water should be embarked on. Managing waste is another approach that the government should embark on, water depletion takes the form of water scarcity and water pollution, wastes are held responsible for major water pollution thus when well managed then pollution of water will reduce (Goel, (2006).
Change of human habits and the adoption of technology in production will help reduce water depletion. Traditional irrigation methods like overhead sprinkles use large junks of water compared to modern drip irrigation methods.
International Corporation is another method that can be used to conserve water, this includes projects like UN-water programs, Senegal River conservation, and UNESCO and Green Cross International. Other international conventions, related to the conservation of the environment, should also be respected (Gunilla, 2009).
The government, private sectors should collaborate to see that water conservation measures are implemented. To ensure there is a corporation, the government should have incentives and punishments methods. Massive campaigns that focus not only on the effects of water depletion but also on how individuals are responsible and the role they can play to reverse the trend should be embarked on. The international organization should also start considering water conservation programs at the global level.
Water depletion refers to the degradation of quality and quantity of water. Human and natural activities are responsible for water depletion; they have resulted in water scarcity and water pollution. To conserve water, governments, the private sector, public and international organizations should collaborate and devise appropriate measures.
Goel, P.K. (2006). Water Pollution – Causes, Effects & Control. New Delhi: New Age International.
Gunilla, B. (2009). Impacts of water use on water systems and the environment. Web.
Water control council. (2010). Water Crisis. Web.