OUR FRESHWATER SUPPLY: IS IT ENDANGERED?
Summer’s here and when it’s hot outside our thoughts tend toward the refreshing powers of water: we take for granted a drink of cool water, a shower and parks with waterslides. As abundant as water may seem, only about 3% of all the water on earth is freshwater. The rest is in the oceans where it’s salty or from other areas where it’s undrinkable. The question now is how to deal the finite amount of water available so it can nourish our increasing world population.
Fishman, Charles. The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. (2011) The author’s main thrust is that we must begin to appreciate and respect water by “changing our water consciousness,” while rethinking how we approach and use water.
Prud’homme, Alex. The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century. (2011) This book centers on whether there will be enough fresh water to meet the demands of the current and future population and points toward possible solutions.
CQ Researcher, “Water Shortages,” June 18, 2010. An overview article highlighting how water shortages are created. A chronology, sidebars and detailed bibliography are included.
National Geographic, “The Water Issue,” April 2010. World-encompassing set of articles on the meaning of water in many diverse cultures and exploration of ways to avert a water crisis. Beautifully and appropriately photographed.
Clean Water Action A grassroots environmental organization begun in 1972, interested in protecting water sources and using political advocacy to fight against water pollution.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Quality This division deals with the treatment of water and wastewater, rules and regulations on water quality, as well as permits.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency The main objective of this agency (Office of Water) is to make sure drinking water is safe and to restore and maintain aquatic ecosystems so human health is protected as well as providing a healthy habitat for fish, plants and wildlife.
U.S. Geological Survey A fact-finding research agency which has among its scientific interests the study of hydrology, which deals with water as it occurs in the atmosphere, on the surface of the ground and underground. Their report, Estimated Use of Water in the U.S., is issued every 5 years.
- Wayne N.