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What would you do if you had to shower knowing the water might not work any minute now? In America today, it is fortunate that water is super convenient for us to obtain compared to other third-world countries. Most people in America take running water for granted. However, it is interesting to stop and wonder how it would be if there were shortages of water and how that could affect us. As the world grows with its population, water resource demand will also grow. Therefore, having no water can be very dangerous in a lot of ways. Shortages on water will have many negative and deteriorating effects and can possibly lead to a worldwide crisis.
One of the biggest factors of no water is that it can affect the environment around us phenomenally. For instance, the wildlife ecosystem would be greatly affected. This ecosystem consists of anything from plants to animals. This community depends largely on one of its biggest and main resource, water. Many livestock’s will suffer as well as many forests and land if there was ever a water shortage. Regions of green lush lands such as forests and mountains that depend on water to thrive and survive will eventually turn dry and rugged. Water scarcity will eventually lead to a drought that can dry out these green lands; and if this happens, many animal homes would be destroyed. In addition, many animals on land depend on water itself and its food in the water to survive. If they don’t get their supply of food from rivers and water, those animals can die. For example, polar bears, grizzly bears, and penguins all depend on lakes and rivers to hunt for their food. Animals who have a hard time looking for food and can become extinct. Not only are creatures on land affected, but many sea creatures who live in the water. For instance, whales, dolphins, and many types of fishes who thrive on water. The circle of life will be at risk and its future will become threatened. Another factor that can happen due to shortages of water is global warming. Scarcity of water can also cause many power producers such as hydropower to shut down. Coal or other fueled sources for power will be used instead; which can cause even further damage to the environment. For instance, pollution is known to be the biggest factor to global warming because it can prevent heat from escaping. This effect is known as the greenhouse effect which is when gases absorb the infrared radiation that is released from the Earth (Lallanila). If this happens, this can cause the world to become hotter and eventually cause ice glaciers to melt. Again, this can be life-threatening to animals who depend on glaciers and water to live such as polar bears.
Human health thrives on every aspect of water and without water, which will greatly decrease our health. The human body itself consists of 65-70 percent of water. The percentage of water in infants is much higher ranging from 75-78 percent. Shortages of water can lead to higher prices on water. In most cases, people will try to limit their water intake due to higher prices which can be extremely dangerous; since it’s recommended that people drink about 8-ounce glasses a day. This amount of water intake equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. Not drinking enough water can also be serious and life-threatening as well because it can cause you to be severely dehydrated. Shortages of water can also limit the time and amount of water for cleaning yourself properly. For instance, brushing your teeth or taking a nice hot shower. This can greatly affect your health because improper hygiene can create bacteria and that can make you sick or not fond to be around. Another big factor to think about would be that sewers won’t be able to flow smoothly, causing filthiness and contamination. Sanitation issues will rise because water is the main source for cleaning the world. Unsafe water is a problem to be around because chemicals from agriculture, industry, and trash dumping can cause illnesses such as skin rashes, cancers, and even death. Third world countries can also be endangered by the cause of less water because they can resort to drinking unclean water. This can lead to health issues such as nausea, vomiting, and cramps. This leads back to health issues because bacteria will be able to spread faster and living habitants like human beings can catch diseases quickly. Unsanitary water can also attract many flies and mosquitoes which can cause or spread deadly viruses as well. For example, mosquito loves to nest and lay its eggs in unclean water. Unclean water can also result in water-borne diseases such as viral hepatitis, typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and other diseases that cause diarrhea (Water, Health and Ecosystems). Diverse amount of people such as children, the elderly, and low-income communities would be the most vulnerable to catching sickness. It is important to always make sure the water we consume is safe to drink and clean.
No economic activity would be able to thrive for long if there were shortages of water. Businesses ranging from family farms to major corporations would face multiple problems including higher costs and long-term viability (The Economic Implications of Global Water Scarcity). Just like the increase of gas prices or any valuable resource, scarcity of water will also increase the price of water. Agriculture would deeply be affected because of how well food grows, depending on the sufficient amount of water it receives. Insufficient amount of water would definitely be a problem for farms. For instance, there is no way farms can provide enough food for the community and this can lead to famine. Also, there would be less food and a rise in food prices. This can lead to inflation which is the general increase in prices. Middle and lower-class people would be struggling to be able to pay for their food. Difficulty of purchasing food can lead to starvation which can also lead to health issues. In addition, one of the biggest resources that any type of successful businesses depends on is water. For example, many restaurants depend on water to wash their dishes and clean their food while they prepare for customers. They also depend on enough water to run their bathrooms and sinks. Therefore, water scarcity can lead to higher operating costs and staying competitive (The Economic Implications of Global Water Scarcity). This article states, “Americans use more water daily by flushing the toilet than any other activity; and a running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day (Canada look for this website). In addition, many businesses would rather locate to areas where water expenses are at its lowest such as a city located by a lake, river, or basin (The Economic Implications of Global Water Scarcity). For instance, cities like Milwaukee and Chicago are preferred by firms over a city far from fresh water. Industry also accounts for 59 percent of total water use (The Economic Implications of Global Water Scarcity). This can lead businesses to shut down and that can hurt the economy for many reasons. Many people will lose their jobs, and they will lose their income. Not having a reliable source of income for people would be terrible because they would not be able to pay for any of their bills. For example, mortgage, phone bills, and electricity bills. Worse case scenarios would just keep happening if there isn’t enough water going around.
Scarcity of water can be environmentally and globally dangerous since water is such a vital element to survival. Water is also a beneficial and valuable resource that most people take for granted every day. Many people never even consider what would happen to the possibilities if we were limited on water. If water scarcity were to ever happen, there would be a list of negative domino effects on communities, wildlife, bio life, and their ecosystems. In addition, inflation would happen for sure, and everything would be more expensive. Water is also so important because it replenishes and most importantly purify the world. Living without water is completely unimaginable and it is important that we learn to value clean running water and not waste it.
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