Although water is one of the most abundant resources on Earth, many important issues and problems are involved in water management. After reading this chapter, you should understand:
- Why the total abundance of water on Earth is not a problem, but making it available where and when it is needed is a problem.
- Why the residence times of water in various parts of the hydrologic cycle are important to water use and pollution potential.
- What a water budget is, and why it is useful in analyzing water supply problems and potential solutions.
- What groundwater is, and what environmental problems are associated with its use.
- How water can be conserved at home and in industrial and agricultural practice.
- Why sustainable water management will become more difficult as the demand for water increases.
- What the environmental impacts are of water projects such as dams, reservoirs, canals, and channelization.
- What a wetland is, how wetlands function, and why they are important.
- What hazards are presented by river flooding.