Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Denise Lani Pascual
Water is an essential resource. It is also a nonrenew-able or finite resource: While water supplies can be regenerated by creating new water molecules from their elemental beginnings (hydrogen and oxygen), the energy required to create large usable pools of water is currently too energy costly to be feasible. Threatening water resources are scarcity, overuse, and pollution. Variations in weather oscillations between wet and dry periods can result in periods of drought, increasing population demands can result in overuse, and continued multiple uses of water resources for industry, irrigation, drinking water, and wastewater can reduce the usability of the water resource for one or many of its needed uses. As we are inherently dependent upon our water resources, protecting and maintaining usable water supplies are critical to sustaining our ecological, cultural, social, and economic well-being. The value of water as a resource is dependent upon the water's intended use (function), ...