Climate change and our water supply

Increased rainfall and irregular weather patterns could impact our water supply (/source)

Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | December 12, 2018

Environmental changes have had a direct impact on the quality of our water supply. As droughts change the amount of usable water in many parts of the world, other places are dealing with water pollution that threatens to permanently impact our freshwater supply.

Increased sediment and contaminants caused by heavier rains are part of the problem, as these deposits can cloud water, encourage the growth of harmful bacteria, and make freshwater less safe to drink, overworking water treatment plants. This kind of sediment and containment clouding is referred to as “turbidity”.

Droughts and a projected decrease in precipitation is another issue, and countries at risk of water shortages are expected to increase from 10% to over 30% in 2050.

As agriculture expands, so does the demand for water; in the United States, irrigation accounts for over 80% of consumptive water usage, consumptive indicating that the water used is likely not returned to its original source.

The best way to combat water pollution and dwindling water resources is to adapt more environmentally friendly irrigation practices and utilize methods to improve the stability of ground soil, so that contaminants are not washed into bodies of water during storms.

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