The Future of Survivability: Water and Organic Resources

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


Water is perhaps the most essential commodity for life. In fact, much of the biosphere consists of water, and most processes in organisms involve the transportation of various compounds in watery form. Most plants consume water in liquid form and return it to the atmosphere as water vapor. Only a small part of our water needs is for human uptake, while our animals and, even more, our agriculture need far more. In the arid regions of the Middle East, where so many of our perceptions about the world were formed, water played an essential role in human relations; possession of water was a frequent source of conflict, while whole societies perished when climatic or ecological changes made water scarce. Today in the developed world when, for many people, water is just a commodity that comes out of a pipe, it has lost its value and the result is that much water is wasted unnecessarily [1]. However, since water availability is distributed very unevenly, there are many places where it is in short supply. Increasing numbers of people and increased per capita consumption then raise the question whether there is enough water in the world to further augment the consumption of what is after all a finite resource. Much concern on this issue has been expressed in recent times with confusion about water scarcity as such versus scarcity of clean water. Cleaning up water pollution, which is frequently due to poverty, carelessness or greed, should be feasible, while a real lack of water would be harder to cure.


Tropical Forest Polar Bear Amazon Basin Water Withdrawal Cereal Production 
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