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Freshwater Conservation

Research Paper
By: Allyia Nelloms

Table of Contents
Public Service Announcement
Research Paper

Water use can be conveyed through the amount of water used by a individual household
or a particular country. It can also be calculated from the amount of water used for a given tasksuch as the production of a given quantity of some product or the amount distributed for a
particular purpose. Freshwater is something that every living thing needs. An average person can
go three weeks without food, but only three days without water. In contrast, less than 1% of the
freshwater on Earth is easily accessible for human use. The Freshwater Conservation
Organization's purpose is to help people become more aware of the dangers in using these
resources irresponsibly. We must work together in protecting the natural areas that store, filter,
and supply clean water.
There are many different measures of water use. A few of them include:

total water use

drinking water consumption
non-consumptive use
withdrawn water use (which is from surface and groundwater sources)
in-stream use
water footprint

"Water footprints" have become a popular source of water measurements, in relation to personal
The term "water footprint" is often used to refer to the amount of water used by an individual,
community, business, or nation, or the amount of water use associated with a product.

In other words, the water footprint is a measurement for human use of fresh water, which
can be in volumes of water consumed/polluted. The water footprint allows us to understand our
personal impact on the environment. It also helps us to create different methods on how to make
this impact less dangerous and more healthy for the environment.

The water footprint concept was introduced in 2002 by Arjen Y. Hoekstra. It was
created as an alternative indicator of water use.

The water footprint of a business is referred to as the 'corporate water footprint'. It is

identified as the overall amount of freshwater that is used to directly or indirectly run/support a
business. This water footprint also includes the manufacturing of needed materials and much

The water used to produce the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the
nation is defined as the water footprint of a nation. This is also known as the 'internal water

footprint'. It is the appropriation of domestic water resources, where the 'external water
footprint' is the appropriation of water resources in other countries.

The data of these measurements have been further broken down and divided into different
sources, where these issue occurs. This includes the 'blue water footprint', 'green water
footprint', and 'grey water footprint'. The amount of freshwater that evaporates from the
surface/ground water is referred to as the blue water footprint. The green water footprint consist
of the water evaporated from water stored in the soil from rain- as soil moisture. The amount of
polluted water is known as the grey water footprint. This is associated with the production of
goods for either an individual or the community.

There have been many laws/treaties put into place to help stabilize this issue--- The
Marine Mammal Protection Act, Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, and
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to name a few.
Causes of the Problem
Some of the main reasons behind this issues include:

the destruction of nature

impact of agriculture water use
global warming and climate change
corporate practices
the impact of city water use

Natural areas such as forests, grasslands, and wetlands help to keep pollution out of our
water sources. These areas also help stabilize water flow into rivers, lakes and groundwater by
slowing down rainwater. Forests and wetlands also provide drinking water for a lot of the world's
cities. In contrast, weve lost half of our wetlands since 1900.

70% of the water withdrawn from lakes and groundwater is due to agriculture.
Agriculture is the leading source of impairment of freshwater sources in the US, according to a
study done by EPA. When rivers and lakes are exposed to fertilizer, algal blooms are formed and
result in the drinking water having taste and odor problems and, in some cases, can cause health
issues. Also, nitrogen-laden exposed waters can damage fish and other animals.

Global warming/higher temperature causes water supplies to evaporate and reducing

rainfall. Studies have shown that in approximately 30 years, 100 million people in cities could be
water short because of the impacts of climate change while up to 3 billion could be in water
shortage at least one month out of the year.
Speaking of consequences, according to studies done by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), between 1% and 11% of all marine life has gotten closer to extinction over the
past 40 years. These studies have also shown threat to human life, as water contamination has

been linked with "cancer villages" in China. Studies have also shown that in approximately 10
years, many people will face water shortage. Back in 2002, the World Health Organization
estimated that water-related diseases could kill as many as 135 million people by 2020, due to
water-related illnesses.

Other organization that help to solve this issue include Charity:Water, Water. Org,
Colombia Water Center (CWC), and WaterIsLife. Charity:Water is a non-profit organization that
provides clean water to undeveloped countries. All of their donations go towards clean water
technology. In addition to building water wells, Water. Org provides intense training programs
where they expand on hygiene practices. The CWC research and create models of water
management. The WaterIsLife is a non-profit organization that has created products that provide
clean water and helps remove waterborne diseases.

Action Steps
There are many simple actions steps you could take to helping solve this issue, such as taking
shorter showers, turning the water off as you brush your teeth, or fixing a leak in your home.