The history of the relationship between people and water is a long and complex one. The necessity for water to sustain life has driven people to do many things: relocate to where the water is, come up with technological innovations to relocate the water to where they are, use it as a source of power. A look into how the relationship dynamic between humanity and the environment has changed will lead to insight about as to how the treatment or abuse of water as a resource has evolved. Also, a look into the pros and cons of the current ways water is being used will reveal that change is needed in humanity's treatment of their most valuable resource.
Control: The Nature of Humanity and the Environment
Human kind's relationship with the environment has evolved through the millennia. It has moved from the environment being in control of humans, to humans being in control of the environment. Before, the state of the environment dictated where humans lived; places where the environment was volatile were sparsely inhabited.
[...] The contamination of the water supply with living and non living pollutants is a direct result of human utilization and indifference to the quality of the water. This indifference and lack of care for the water supply is a reflection of how the people regard the status of water: plentiful, and therefore not needing to be cared for. The Trade-Offs of Water Usage As elaborated on earlier, primary purpose of water usage was to provided drinking water and water for irrigating crops. [...]
[...] The juxtaposition of the positive and negative consequences of human water utilization begs the question: is the trade-off worth it? Do the benefits of using this resource outweigh the consequences of using it? The answer to this question is not black and white. The trade-offs regarding water use has changed over time. As told previously, the presence of clean water is vital to the existence of humanity, so we will have to keep using it in order to survive. However, if pollution trends continue, the water quality can have an effect on marine life (as evidenced by the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico) and consequently, the fishing industry. [...]
[...] The key to achieving balance between human water usage and sustaining the water supply is careful treatment of the resource. Great care should be taken to make sure that runoff from farms, landfills, factories and power plants does not end up in water sources. Moreover, people should be more mindful about the effects that additional minerals and nutrients have on the water. If humanity takes care to protect the resources that it needs so dearly, then there would be no trade-off to human utilization of water. [...]
[...] Water is essential for sustaining the human body and for growing the foods the body needs to survive. It is also necessary for hygiene and sanitation. The need for water as a source of vitality has not and will never change. However, humanity's regard for water has changed throughout time because of its availability. Thousands of years ago, when man was subject to the whims of the environment, water was a precious commodity that the development of civilizations depended on. [...]
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