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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Research Paper on the Environment and the Population

Research Paper on the Environment and the Population

Man is supposed to be an asset.  He is supposed to be an asset to his family, his organization or his country.  He is supposed to take advantage of the existing natural resources for the betterment of everybody.  He is also expected to take care of these resources so that the future generation may someday enjoy its benefits.  Recently, however, it has been found that human activities are affecting the environment to the point that these activities are slowly destroying the natural environment.  The destruction extends from the depredation of the natural forests which serve as the habitat of the animal species, the excessive wastage in the use of the natural resources, and destruction of the eco-system.   Recently, it has also been found out that the gradual destruction of the natural environment also impacts man in the sense that it leads to drought, famine and hunger. 

The principle of law and supplies states that the increase in demand must be off set by an increase in supply.  If the supply does not meet the demand there will be a shortage.  Applying the said principle to the use and consumption of water it can be inferred that there is a need for us to be able to conserve our existing sources of water. 

Studies say that the world population tripled in the 20th Century.  The increase in population carries with it the use of water resources which has increased six times.  The source of water however does not increase.  In fact, human activities have even made some of the sources of potable water undrinkable.  Since it is estimated that the world population will increase by another 40 to 50% in the next fifty years, human population may not have enough supply of potable water in the future.

A case in point is the drought that affected the Southeast from 2005 to 2007.  It was initially thought that the drought was caused by global warming.  Further study, however, revealed that the water shortage was the result of population growth (Cornelia Dean, 2009). For instance, in Georgia the population increased from 6.48 million in 1990 to 9.54 million in 2007.  

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In some countries, the lack of access to safe and potable water is already affecting the public. In Metro Manila, capital of the Philippines, access to water supply is extremely difficult.  In 2003, because of poor management by the water utility companies, a cholera outbreak occurred in one of cities in Metro Manila.  Health authorities found out that the cause of the cholera outbreak is the contaminated and illegally connected water pipes causing a scare in the use of water from water pipes.

Because of the problems of accessibility of clean and potable water supply, residents in the provinces and rural areas and in the urban cities have started to look for alternative sources of clean and potable.  Because the use of household filters remains very expensive, those in the rural and in the urban areas have started to patronize water refilling stations which is extremely expensive (Cris-Ann Ordonia, 2007, p.1). 

The continued reduction in the supply of fresh water may in the future be the primary cause for the spread of water-related diseases.  In Third-World Countries, the public may be forced to drink from unsafe water.  They may get sick and even die.  Infant mortality could increase and the majority of the population may suffer form water-related diseases.  Since it is the obligation of the government to protect the population it may undermine the development of the country and even impede its development.

The human population will not be the only ones who will be directly affected by the reduction of the fresh water supply.  Freshwater is essential for the survival of the different kinds of species that depend on water for their nourishment and survival.  If the water supply will be reduced these species could later on be extinct and affect the entire ecosystem. 

The issue of water shortage is a problem not only among Third World Countries.  It is a problem of the entire world.  It needs stressing that no amount of water conservation efforts by First World Countries will suffice to save the world if the Third World Countries which are more populous will continue to waste the water supply.  Water conservation and management should be a world-wide effort.  The First World Countries should encourage the Third World Countries to conserve and manage their water supply through education and awareness programs and grants.  It is time for the world to understand that the supply of water is not unlimited.  Just like any natural resources water supply is bound to be exhausted if we continue to use it improperly.  


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