Water Use Environmental Science
Global water use • Most of the water worldwide is used to irrigate crops • The availability of freshwater, population sizes and economic conditions affect how people use water • Three major uses for water are: • Residential use • Agricultural use • Industrial use
Residential Use • About 8% of water is used for household activities like drinking and washing • Water Treatment makes water potable or safe to drink • Removes elements like mercury, lead, and arsenic which are poisonous • Removes pathogens or organisms that make you sick
Industrial Water Use • 19% of water used in the world • Most used to cool power plants • Use to manufacture goods, dispose of waste, and generate power • It takes 500,000 L of water to manufacture one car!
Agricultural Water Use • 67% of water used in the world • Irrigation provides plans with water that is from precipitation • As much as 80% of the water never reaches the plants because it evaporates • It takes about 300L to produce one ear of corn!
Human Water Management • Goals include making a dry area habitable, creating a reservoir for recreation/drinking water, or generating electric power
Water Management: Aqueducts • Romans in France and Spain
Water Conservation: Agriculture • Drip Irrigation Systems: deliver small amounts of water directly to plant roots by using perforated tubing
Water Conservation: Industry • Recycling: cooling water and wastewater are recycled, saving money and water
Water Conservation: Home • Shorter Showers, no baths • Low-flow shower heads • Install low-flow aerators in water faucets • Low-flow toilet, water-filled bottle in tank • Turn off water when brushing teeth • Fill sink when washing face/hands, shaving, doing dishes • Full loads in dishwasher/washing machine • Rarely water lawn
Future Solutions • Desalination: removing salt from water • Uses lots of energy and is expensive • Transporting Water: towing bags of water from one area to another (Ex: Alaska to California), or towing icebergs