Trade and Commerce/communication
When the natural physical barriers such as mountainous regions and canyons proved to be too much of a hassle, the modern world look the long looking horizon of water to transport and communicate with worlds outside their own and trade. Within years of industrialising a richly veined network of principal trade routes were established with the weather no longer played such a curricula role at all with restricting trade. By then, superior speed developed and cargo load carrying ships and vessels had been developed that were measured in tons! Through the development of such powerful means of transportation and global trade routes, commerce took place on a regular basis/frequency with countries with strategic coastlines vastly enjoyed the benefits. With water as a medium for transport, trade resulted in an influx of global concepts from one country to another along with exchange of goods and the concept of import and export. The global market was thus transformed and restructured when it was realised that shipping had largely changed trade. The amount of time taken to transport goods from one end of the world to the other was halved or quartered.
Via this introduction of a new form of trade, countries without a certain resource could obtain it via trade links; thus the world as a whole was benefited greatly. For example of all cargoes shipped 2 years ago, 28.2% was crude oil and 8.8% was refined petroleum. Great benefit has also come to the countries with highly developed and organised trade ports such as Yokohama, Rotterdam, New Orleans, New York and Singapore, which handle over 150 tonnes of cargo annually. Such trading patterns account for about at least 10 % of the national GDP for almost all countries! Furthermore, unlike in the past trading was no longer restricted to geographically close proximate nations, for examples Singapore’s largest export partner in 1998 was the USA accounting for 25%. Thus as we can see, physical barriers were erased with the influx of trade and commerce via water as a medium.
Water has never failed to fascinate man with its natural grace and beauty despite its overwhelming abundance. It was always been a place of recreation and relaxation for the stressed out worker of today’s furiously fast paced world. Therefore, nations that happen to be blessed with access to key oceans or rivers at their doorsteps have realised this and have developed these coastal areas as tourist attractions. For example countries that have such coastlines such as Hawaii (USA), Costa Del sol (Spain), Singapore, Mauritius and Rio de Janeiro and Goa (India) have enjoyed a rich flow of tourists and these benefits account with about at least 1% of their GNP coming from tourism.
Furthermore areas with rich water sources that are capable of sustaining great natural environments have developed into rich habitats for natural wildlife and man as well. For example Yellowstone Park with its rich geysers is a tourist hotbed and Miami with its massive long stretching coastline has more than its fair share of beach resorts and waterfront homes. Areas such as Paris and Florence and Tahiti have developed diverse unique cultures and traditions that amaze foreign visitors. Festivals are also more profound around such areas. On religious levels as well the fact that Mecca and Jerusalem are located near rich water sources is not coincidence for the rich influx of pilgrims to these areas and in this case water provides a spiritual coating as well.