Water is one of the most common resources used on earth. Barely any of it is fresh. 97% of earth’s water is too salty or polluted. 2% is too far underground to reach. That leaves only 1% for clean drinking water. Since we have a low supply of fresh water we need to conserve it. Conserving it means to save it. Most Americans and Europeans have access to clean water but some countries have only dirty water to bathe in and to drink. More than 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water. That’s because they only have polluted or salty water. Polluted water also can’t be used for swimming, watering crops, or providing a habitat for plants and animals. The major causes for polluted water are sewage, chemicals from factories, fertilizers from farms, and landfills that leak.
People who do have access to clean water have to use it wisely and protect it or else it will become endangered. If water becomes endangered all living things will be endangered too.
The Great Lakes are the world’s largest freshwater lakes. More than 40 million people in the United States and Canada get drinking water from these lakes, but they are getting polluted. Water pollution occurs when large amounts of materials are added to the water that cause it to be dirty and unfit for its intended use. There are two types of water pollution: point source and nonpoint source. Point source pollution is when harmful materials are put directly into the water like the Exxon Valdez oil spill or when someone throws a can of soda into a body of water. Nonpoint source pollution is when harmful substances are indirectly put into the water through changes in the environment. For example, heavy rains may carry fertilizer from a field to a stream. Point source pollution can be controlled more easily than nonpoint source pollution and this is what accounts for most of the contaminants in lakes and streams.
Some ways in which people can help keep water from being polluted are to learn proper ways of getting rid of household wastes, look for alternatives to fertilizers, preserve existing trees and plant new trees and shrubs to promote infiltration of water into the soil, and keep pet waste, leaves and grass clippings out of gutters and storm drains.
The Water Cycle
The water cycle is when water moves from the air to land and back into the air again and again. The cycle consists of four main processes: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection.
The evaporation process happens when water turns into water vapor and rises up or evaporates into the sky.
The condensation process happens when the water vapor cools high up in our atmosphere and turns back into a liquid. As each tiny water droplet connects to more water droplets, it often gets big enough and turns into a cloud.
The precipitation process happens when a cloud fills up with too much water and all the water falls down as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
The collection process happens when water is collected from a lake or ocean and turns back into water vapor.
Water can carry pollutants into the ocean, the air, and the ground because it travels in a cycle.
The water cycle is the same everywhere around the world and hasn't changed. In fact, there is exactly the same amount of water today as there was when the dinosaurs were alive. The amount of water on our planet is constant. It doesn't matter where you live, the water cycle works exactly the same. So if you pollute the water in one place, it could affect all of us since the pollution would be part of the water cycle. That's because water is used and recycled all the time. So just think, when you drink your next glass of water, you could be drinking water that a dinosaur drank millions of years ago.
Many countries don’t have a way to collect and save water. There needs to be a way for these countries to get clean water. Representatives from many countries met at the World Water Forum to discuss ways to save water. One
way to save water is to build more dams to collect rainwater.
Today there are more and more people living on the earth, so there is a greater need for drinkable water.
|Global Warming| |Too Much Trash| |Water Pollution & Conservation| |Deforestation| |Electricity & Fossil Fuels| |Solar Energy| |Rainwater Harvesting| |Biofuels| |Tidal Power| |Wind Power| |Water Power|
Grima, A. P. Lino. "Lake Erie." World Book Online Reference Center. 2006.
[15 December 2006] <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar308980>.
Keinath, Thomas M. "Water." World Book Online Reference Center. 2006.
[15 December 2006] <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar593660>.
Likens, Gene E. "Water pollution." World Book Online Reference Center. 2006.
[15 December 2006] <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar594330>.
Simberloff, Daniel. "Conservation." World Book Online Reference Center. 2006.
[15 December 2006] <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar130340>.
Permission to use free clip art image of "Protect Water Sources" is granted by Teacher Created Resources at the Teachers Guide. <http://www.theteachersguide.com/Freebies.html> (December, 2006).
Permission to use all photographs found on this page is granted under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License or images are in the public domain from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page> (December, 2006).
Flash movie created by author of this web page. Permission to use all images is granted under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia or pictures are in the public domain. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page>.
All music used in the movie is royalty free from Incompetec. January 2007 <http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/>.
Return to top of page