Why Is Water Conservation Important?

free essayClean and fresh water is among some of the limited resources. Although considerable territory of the planet is covered with water, most of it is inconsumable due to the presence of salts yet desalination process is costly. Also, normal life occurrences such as droughts limit human access to clean and fresh water. Furthermore, human beings contaminate fresh water through some of their activities, posing a threat not only to themselves but also to other living organisms. Therefore, there is a need to preserve and conserve fresh water due to its universal benefits. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines water conservation as the preservation, control, and development of water resources that are on or under the earth’s surface and aims to handle pollution prevention (“Water conservation,” n.d.).

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2015) states that in 2015, at least 1.8 billion people in the whole world were drinking water contaminated with fecal matter. This population is immensely huge, and as a result, it is exposed to many health-related conditions caused by water. Contaminated water is capable of transmitting water-related diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, polio, typhoid and dysentery among many others (World Health Organization, 2015). Hereby, this indicates that fresh water is required to avoid these water-borne diseases. In worsening the situation, an estimated half of the human race will live in water-stressed areas by 2025 (World Health Organization, 2015). As a result, it will pose a great danger given that fresh water is the only healthy water for human consumption. Developing countries are the most affected nations when it comes to the lack of consumable fresh and clean water. Therefore, there is a need to conserve fresh water so as to curb the impact and incidence rate of using unclean and polluted water.

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First, fresh water conservation is necessary for the health care industry. Human beings are always in need of water not only for domestic use but also for drinking. As a result, health becomes an important issue since contaminated water involves risk of transmitting waterborne diseases. WHO (2015) reiterates that contaminated water causes water-related diseases such as diarrhea among many others. With water preservation, these diseases can be reduced if conservation of water becomes a reality.

Also, water conservation reduces the death incidences in the world. WHO (2015) says that it is estimated that about 842,000 people die every year as a result of diarrhea, which is caused by drinking unsafe water, poor sanitation, and hygiene. However, diarrheal cases can be reduced if there is clean and fresh water since this disease is largely preventable. Scholars have found that the deaths of over 361,000 under-five children can be avoided if clean water is consumed (World Health Organization, 2015). These diseases are costly to treat in addition to the increased costs of giving the dead ones a decent burial. In case fresh water is conserved, most people will gain access to it, which will help reduce water-borne diseases and related deaths, thereby saving a lot of finances for use in other sectors of the economy.

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By the same token, fresh water conservation is important to the field of agriculture. Human survival is dependent on this area since nutrition is one of the basic needs to give humankind life. Fogden and Wood (2009) explain that agriculture is the largest fresh water consumer. It is estimated that 1 kilogram of rice requires about 3m3 to be produced. One of the agricultural activities demanding large amounts of water is irrigation. In a year, irrigation makes withdrawal of about 2,555 cubic kilometers of fresh water (Fogden, & Wood, 2009). However, only 35-50% of water used in irrigation reaches the crops. Since the land under irrigation is increasing as time passes, the rate of fresh water consumption will escalate. Therefore, the need for fresh water conservation increases. As a result, it is important to conserve water so as to increase the agricultural production and enhance food security. Many people from different areas on the Earth’s surface have suffered nutritional conditions due to the lack of food. With water conservation, such problem will be history.

Other than agriculture, the industrial sector of the economy requires fresh water to conduct the necessary activities in enhancing production. Fogden and Wood (2009) assert that in most of industrialized nations, industry alone is responsible for 59% of the total water use. In every liter of water used for industries, the production is 60 times more productive compared to the agricultural sector (Fogden, & Wood, 2009). Industrial activities require fresh water in abundance. For instance, 1,500 liters of water are necessary for the production of only 1 kilogram of aluminum (Fogden, & Wood, 2009). Moreover, this applies to industries that produce beverages in that water is the largest proportion of the drink. However, such drinks cannot be made from contaminated water. It is estimated that industrial fresh water use will increase to 1,170 cubic kilometers by 2025, representing about 21% of fresh water withdrawals (Fogden, & Wood, 2009). Therefore, conserving fresh water is essential in ensuring that the industries grow having enough resources such as water, which will, in turn, boost the economy. In other words, the failure to preserve water can negatively affect the economy, which can be a disaster since employment will be significantly affected among other things.

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Conservation of water is significant in the sense that it helps in the reduction of costs used in trying to treat the available water to be safe for consumption. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (2016), water treatment claims a lot of funds that could be used in building other sectors of the economy. Fresh water is the best as it does not require such funds, something that helps build the economy. With this in place, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (2016) ascertains that people reduce time wasted while walking or moving long distances in search of this precious natural resource. In the long run, the costs of moving and the time wasted may be invested in other productive endeavors. Thus, it becomes evident that conservation of water is necessary.

Moreover, fresh water conservation is important for wildlife and aquatic life sustainability. Aquatic organisms are dependent on fresh water as their only environment through which they can survive. Kemker (2015) explains that most of the marine organisms prefer living in fresh water because they cannot adapt to life in salty or polluted water. The reason for this is that fresh water contains more oxygen compared to the polluted one. Since most of the aquatic organisms are depended on oxygen, proper survival is seen in areas where the oxygen concentration is substantial. Coldwater fish such as the salmon and trout are highly affected by lower levels of oxygen concentrations (Kemker, 2015). The fish like many other organisms in this environment try to avoid low oxygen concentration areas since they are more likely to die after failing to adapt to such conditions.

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Also, the wildlife is dependent on water for survival. For instance, lions and gazelles will always find a way to access fresh water in a river when thirsty. Should the water be polluted, then these animals will immensely suffer. The major thing that prevents oxygen to adequately penetrate fresh water is pollution. Kemker (2015) says that saline water has less oxygen concentration compared to fresh water. Therefore, conservation of fresh water is necessary for saving aquatic organisms and wildlife. Such efforts can boost tourism and food production since they are among the key sectors of any country’s economy.

This notwithstanding, there is a need to conserve fresh water for future use by the current and upcoming generations. Climate change is also growing at supersonic speed, which is likely to reduce the amount of fresh water on the Earth’s surface. The human population is tremendously growing and depleting this natural resource so that something should be done to avoid the exploitation (“Fresh water conservation,” n.d.). To add insult to injury, global warming is depleting fresh water resources, posing a significant danger to the future generation. The only solution is to conserve this vital resource so as to have a promising future for the upcoming generation. Over the coming 50 years, melting of glaciers and other forms of ice will pose a significant threat not only to the human progress but also to food security (“Fresh water conservation,” n.d.). Glaciers are suppliers of fresh water for the Earth, allowing some ice to melt to nourish different places suitable for farming. As a result of global warming and climate change, glaciers are melting at an abnormally high rate, posting a challenge to the availability of water in the future (“Fresh water conservation,” n.d.). WHO (2015) reiterates that in addition to the increasing scarcity of water, demographic changes, population growth and urbanization, climate change poses an enormous challenge to the availability of fresh water in the future. Therefore, fresh water conservation is the only way to ensure that there will be a continuous supply of this natural resource that will serve the needs of future generations.

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In conclusion, fresh water is a valuable resource for the survival of humans and other organisms on the planet. However, contamination of the resource poses a threat to any living organism and human activities. The only solution to have water available is through conservation measures. Conservation of water is important due to many reasons. Fresh water is required to have a healthy population and save costs that could otherwise be used on treating sick population. In addition to this, water is essential to every nation’s economy since it is a fundamental recourse for agricultural and industrial services among others. Also, fresh water conservation serves as a source of life for aquatic organisms and wildlife. The concept of water for future generations is of paramount importance. If water is not conserved, then the future will be less promising for generations to come because they also need the resource for survival. Therefore, it is important to conserve water to ensure each sphere receives it to perform its functions without any problems.