Sample Essay on Where Does My Drinking Water Come from?

Source of water used in Riverside

Water is a resource that is essential for human survival. A watershed refers to a region that contributes water which can be consumed locally or channeled to other places. Such an area can either be a stream, ocean or a confluence of two rivers. A watershed therefore, harvests water from rain or snow (Michelsen, 2014). This water flows down the slope through a combination of routes; through soil and through groundwater flow. Essentially, such sources act as contributors of water to the environmental and at the same time as habitat for aquatic organisms (Arendt, 2015).

Drinking water used by residents in Riverside comes from wells within the local environment as groundwater in the Bunker Hill, San Bernardino with Riverside Basins included.The water supply chain starts as rain water and plenty of snow (Carle, 2015). Filtration occurs through the sand and gravel. The Bunker hill and Riverside basins in San Bernardino and Riverside enable quality filtration because of the existence of gravel and sand as deposits. After the process of filtration, this particular water settles deep underground as pools. This is how the wells are operated within the town in order to obtain and channel water meant for both domestic and industrial uses.

However, watersheds are responsible for yielding of water to these particular industries that face several challenges. Environmental degradation with respect to watersheds include sedimentation, timber harvesting, land clearing, mining, agricultural production and pollution from industrial and domestic activities.  According to statistics, the amount of water used by residents of Riverside is 70 million gallons on daily basis. Safe water is supplied to domestic and industrial settings. Water received by consumers through the taps have been treated. For this reason, they become safe to drink since quality has been ensured by the federal government. Otherwise, water that does not match required standards of safety, that which violates the law can potentially affect users adversely. The California State Water Project, is responsible for supply of water from the sources: 22 dams and reservoirs, to the southern part of the state. This is the source, Bay Delta, where the project begins (Martin, 2016). A report by Daily Finance, identifies Riverside as one of the cities located in zones affected by the desert. The report states that water drawn from the Bay Delta contained several chemicals that went to levels exceeding the required limits as per the health guidelines.

The whole process of diverting water from its sources to the final users applies science and efforts made by the federal government. In Riverside, water supply originates from underground pools. When rain falls, water infiltrates into lower levels of the soil. When enough water gets through, an underground pool results. This water is then pumped by the State Water Project and directed to treatment facilities. After treatment, fresh water is pumped to residential and industries for further usage. The diversions comprise several sources that are governed by the state. Watersheds are therefore important for the continued sustainable and use of fresh water.

World fresh water crisis

The world’s population has rapidly increased in the recent decades. Supply of fresh water has however, remained constant. This can be explained by the water cycle that recycles water from the atmosphere back to the ground through various processes and back to the consumer. It is for these two reasons that the demand for fresh water threatens to exceed its supply (Carle, 2016). For instance, individuals would be competing for clean drinking water, for bathing and cooking in order to live a sustainable life. The question of global water crisis involves the effects of the environment, politics, economics and social forces. The percentage of world’s fresh water counts for a small fraction when compared to the whole of earth water sources that counts for 70% (Weisner, 1984).

Water distribution is imbalanced in the sense that some regions have plenty of supply while other areas suffer drought and severe effects of environmental degradation. This majorly affects third world countries that do not have a well-established systems of fresh water supply. In addition, they have to apply efforts that would earn them cash which they would use to purchase several units of fresh water for domestic use. The United Nations has conducted research and have pointed out that the world is likely to face severe water shortages by 2025 for 65% of world population who live in areas that experience low supply of fresh water (Quinney, 1996). This crisis therefore prompts concerned bodies to efficiently and effectively manage water sources, conserve vegetation in water catchment areas and regulate water distribution processes.

According to research, human beings are inefficient users of water. For instance, water intensive crops are grown without limits. The urban setting is using water in large quantities where a smaller quantity of water would still achieve the same purpose (Osman, 2015). The manufacturing and processing industries are using many gallons of water to realize a unit output. This is a challenge that if not addressed may lead to future, severe water shortage.

The Use of Water Without Environmental Pollution

Since water supply depends on the state of the environment. Water recycling is a natural process that when interrupted, can lead to severe water shortage or supply of contaminated water. Following the reports by the Daily Finance, water channeled to homes contain chemical impurities that are harmful to one’s health. The Municipal Council has however encouraged individuals not to believe the statements from the study. At the end of the day, conservation of the environment would lead to fresh water with little or no chemical contamination. Therefore, if the pollution persists, watersheds remain at stake as individuals continue to consume toxics.

Climate change effects on drought in California

Climate changes have affected California, Riverside to be specific in as far as drought is concerned. Watersheds are therefore adversely affected by these conditions. This explains why about 90% of fresh water used by the residents come from underground pools. Since water is used in a lot of activities and projects, the production of industries and people’s welfare would be at stake due to unfavorable climate change (Arnold, 2014).

Therefore, watersheds are supposed to be identified and conserved by the Municipal council and the federal government. It is for this reason that the government would know how to regulate water consumption and at the same time know how to ensure safety of consumers. Riverside uses 70 million gallons of water in day. This is clearly uneconomical and wasteful. In in this respect, relevant bodies should conduct campaigns that emphasize the benefits of using water wisely (White, 2000).

Water footprint for My Family. Why is it low or high?

How many people are in your household? How long is the average shower in your household?  11 to 15 minutes. Do you have low flow shower heads? Yes.Do you take baths? If so, how often? 1 baths per day.How long do you leave your bathroom faucets running each day? Under 5 minutes. Do your bathroom sinks have low-flow faucets? Yes.Do you “let it mellow”? No.Do you have low-flow toilets? Yes. How long do you leave the kitchen faucet running each day? 21-45 minutes.Does your kitchen sink have a low-flow faucet? Yes. How do you wash your dishes? Energy efficient dishwasher.How do you laundry? Energy efficient washing machine. Do you have a greywater system installed in your home? Yes.Do you water a lawn or garden? Yes. How much do you water? 2 times a day. Do you landscape with plants that require little to no water? Yes.Do you have a rain barrel? No. Do you have a swimming pool? Yes.How many months out of the year do you keep it covered? 3 months.Do you have a car? Yes. How do you wash your car? A drive-through car wash.

My family’s water footprint a day amounts to 2202 gallons of water a day. This count is on the higher side. Reasons for this include: use of water intensive machines to perform tasks that can be done by an individual, unregulated flow of water into the household, having only one source of water as opposed to other sources such as rain water and the tendency of leaving taps running for quite some time. In order to lower the footprint, my family should replace some of the water intensive machines with those that use little or no water. In addition, taps should not be left running for longer periods of time.


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