Many of the objects of concern in this book call attention to depleted resources and to environmental hazards perpetuated by humans. Water, specifically fresh water, is yet another object of concern that should be included in this list – especially in today’s era. Like our atmosphere and the trees that populate the earth, water resources have been greatly misunderstood throughout history and have been exploited greatly by humans. It is not until recently that we have realized the negative impact our actions have had on water resources, thus encouraging us to change certain behaviors.
Yet change has been slow, as it has been in regulating CO2 emissions and fishing. Water resources have been severely depleted, a fact that is of particular concern in developing nations that have little to no access to fresh water, and one that is becoming of greater concern in the United States as scientists and politicians realize many states will not have access to water. Indeed, Iowa has today released various statements and news articles expressing its fears that the state “may not be able to meet the future demand from industry and urban sprawl” (Des Moines Register).
Many southwestern states are currently facing these issues, and it is expected more midwest states may share these concerns in the near future. There are many plans to combat this problem – including routing the Great Lakes to service other regions. Though this may provide water for a greater number of states, it is also true that more environmental hazards will result – as well as a quicker depletion of even the Great Lakes as a potential water resource.
Of course, it is not only the states that are currently plagued by water resources. Indeed, water has “gone global.” The Department of Meteorology at Penn State has claimed “water resources will shift, but not in society’s favor.”
These issues are becoming increasingly important, and are forcing people to consider them – as they have been forced to consider a depleting ozone and depleting forests worldwide. Unchecked, it is possible water resources will be vastly depleted, resulting not only in new dams or river-routes but wars. Many scientists agree future wars will be fought over water resources. This may seem a rather bold statement, because water appears plentiful to us, but if one considers this statement logically, it seems very accurate. Hopefully some consensus is reached sooner than with other listed “objects of concern” and preventative action is taken to ensure our water resources will not result in such a dismal ending.