The Sustainable Development of Water Resources| Discussion

Part 1

Question 1

Water resources are scarce but their availability vary from region to region and each region has its specific problems. Often problems related to water vary drastically. For example, some regions suffer from the drastic shortage of water, while others suffer from regular floods. Ironically, both of such problems still raise another serious problem related to water which is the quality of water which is widely spread and is one of the most common problems for many regions in the world. At the same time, the difference between regions is determined by uniqueness and specificities of water resources available in every particular region. The availability of water resources determines the socioeconomic development of regions and their level of water consumption.

At the same time, specificities of regions often determine the quality of water as well. In this regard, the difference is particularly noteworthy between rural and urban areas. The latter are densely population and have the high level of water consumption as well as the high level of the water pollution, while rural areas are less population and have fewer water pollution, unless there is the intensive farming in those areas. Regions with intensive farming are also vulnerable to the excessive water consumption and pollution. On the other hand, areas with the shortage of water resources suffer from under-developed farming. In such a situation, regions have the different quality of water because of their different way of water consumption and different level of the water availability.

Question 2

Sustainability is the alternative to conventional water consumption that involves the excessive and unreasonable water use. In contrast to conventional water consumption, sustainability implies the preservation of water resources in their current condition for the next generation. In such a way, the main point of sustainability is the maintenance of the water balance and stability at the current level without any further deterioration of the availability or quality of water. The sustainable development involves the use of new strategies of the water consumption as well as processing of waste water because the preservation of water resources means the prevention of the water pollution and the further exhaustion of water resources. Sustainability is essential now because of the ongoing deterioration of the quality of water as well as the ongoing reduction of the available water (Balen 172). The shortage of water triggers numerous socioeconomic problems, while in some regions it may and does cause starvation. At the same time, the shortage of water has a negative impact on the public health because the poor quality of water and the lack of water increase the risk of the emergence of epidemics and decline of the public health. Therefore, the major objectives of sustainable development in regard to water resources is the reduction of the water consumption, the preservation of available water resources, and the prevention of water pollution.

Question 3

The water quality and availability depends on multiple factors but the domestic and agricultural use of water is among the most important one. Even though the domestic water consumption comprises a minor part of the total water consumption, the change in the way people consumer water in this field may have a considerable impact on the overall strategy of the water consumption. The introduction of water-efficient technologies and strategies in the domestic water consumption will increase the consciousness of people and their awareness concerning the necessity to save water and use it wisely outside their homes as well. Simple steps, like the use of water efficient showers, the reduction of frequency of times people take shower, the use of rain water for technical purposes and other simple steps may help to reduce the domestic water consumption consistently and make it really effective.

The role of agriculture in the sustainable use of water is even more significant because the larger part of water consumed by people is used for agricultural purposes (Flint 44). In such a situation, the change of technologies and methods of agriculture may contribute to the reduction of the water consumption and its more efficient use. For example, the use of effective watering of plants and the use of efficient of irrigation systems can help to reduce the consumption of water. The use of new plants that need less water compared to conventional plans. There are many ways to make the water consumption in agriculture sustainable, but farmers just should change their attitude to water and become aware that water is a scarce and the most valuable resource on the Earth.

Question 4

Changes in the domestic water consumption relate to everyone, including me because the real change in the global water consumption starts from me. What I mean is that each individual should change his/her attitude toward water and only after that the world will change the global attitude toward this valuable resource. People cannot change the way of the water consumption and make it sustainable if they do nothing for that in person. Therefore, I should take steps toward sustainable water consumption. This step may inspire may friends, family members, community members and just other people whom I know. At the same time, it will not be difficult for me to undertake some simple steps to use water reasonably and in a sustainable way. For example, I can save water, while taking shower or I can use rain water to water plants or wash my car. Such simple steps do not need many efforts from my part but they are very efficient, if they are taken by all people.

Part 2

Question 5

In my opinion, Chapagain and Hoekstra’s study dedicated to the water use in global terms, The global component of freshwater demand and supply: an assessment of virtual water flows between nations as a result of trade in agricultural and industrial products, and Flint’s The Sustainable Development of Water Resources are particularly noteworthy readings which uncover the essence of the contemporary water consumption in global terms as shown in Chapagain and Hoekstra’s study and show the way how this problem may be addressed as Flint’s study reveals. These readings have proved to be very useful for me in terms of shaping my views on the problem of the water consumption in the contemporary world. I have managed to view this problem from both the global and personal perspectives. These readings encouraged me to undertake actions to contribute to sustainability in the water consumption that will be my contribution to the solution of the global problem of the availability and quality of water resources.

Part 3

Question 6 b

Virtual water exporters, like the US, suffer numerous negative effects from such policy, which apparently brings a lot of money for the US economy and, especially American farmers. However, the export of virtual water encourages the severe exploitation of water resources located in the US that leads to their steady exhaustion and may result to the critical of water resources in the future, if the virtual water export persists. Also virtual water export makes the water consumption profitable and economically attractive, while the point is to make individuals and businesses to use water resources efficiently and moderately. Otherwise, the next generation of Americans may just experience the problem of the shortage of water resources as many other countries in the world do.

Therefore, virtual water export has both pros and contrast. On the one hand, the virtual water export brings economic benefits, such as jobs, economic growth, the growth of food production; humanitarian benefits (since American farmers can feed people in countries, where the population suffers from starvation caused by the water shortage); technological benefits (the growth of virtual water production requires new technologies that will allow increasing production with the same amount of the water consumption or low increase in the water consumption). On the other hand, there are a number of contras of virtual water export, including exhaustion of US water resources; excessive use and pollution of water in the result of intensive farming; discouragement of modernization of farming in importing countries because they rely on the US virtual water supplies instead of modernizing their own farming.

Question 7 b

The introduction of water rights and maximum level of the water consumption and, therefore, the limitation of food consumption is absolutely unacceptable and intrinsically wrong. Water is just like any other natural resource that is scarce and exhaustible just like oil, natural gas, air, sun light and power, wind power or whatsoever. However, unlike oil, for example, water is vitally important for people and they need it on the daily basis like air. This is why any limitations in this regard would mean the violation of civil right to life that is definitely the violation of the US Constitution and common sense. Instead, it is more efficient to introduce new policies and strategies of the water consumption because people do not need to refuse from the water consumption to preserve it. Instead, they just need to change technologies that need water, including agriculture, and change their attitude to water consumption. The responsible water consumption along with advanced technologies can help to cut the water consumption in global terms without violation of basic human rights (Hoekstra 34). Anyway, the introduction of water and food limits in one country will not resolve the problem of the global water consumption, while the introduction of such limits in global terms is impossible because of differences between countries, their policies and observation of human rights.

Works Cited:

Balen, M. Water for Life. London: The Globalization Institute, 2006.

Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. The global component of freshwater demand and supply: an assessment of virtual water flows between nations as a result of trade in agricultural and industrial products, Water International, 33(1), 2008, 19-32.

Flint, R.W. The Sustainable Development of Water Resources. Water Resources Update, 127, 2004, 41-51.

Hoekstra, A.Y. The Global Dimension of Water Governance: Why the River Basin Approach Is No Longer Sufficient and Why Cooperative Action at Global Level Is Needed, Water, 3. 21-46.

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[Accessed: October 31, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 31, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 31, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 31, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 31, 2020]