Environmental Science Basics, Earth, Home Life
If you’re like most people in the developed world, you don’t think much about water. Clean, drinkable water is delivered into your residence almost invisibly, and it’s always there when you turn on a faucet. As such, most North Americans don’t see the need for water conservation, particularly those who live in areas where freshwater supplies are abundant. But as populations grow and water supplies stay roughly constant, more and more pressure is being brought to bear on rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater aquifers and the need for conservation has become almost universal. These efforts are particularly crucial in areas with arid climates, low water supplies, and/or frequent droughts. Water is used for a wide variety of things in the modern world. It’s used in large quantities in agriculture and livestock production, to generate electricity in thermoelectric power plants, and in numerous industrial processes. Another major category is municipal water use, the use of water in homes and businesses. To get an overview of water use in the United States, review the material below from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).