Essay on The Great Lakes Notes

Submitted By elliereilly
Words: 571
Pages: 3

The Great Lakes Notes
9/19/14

Overview of water use

75% of Earth’s surface is covered by water
97% saltwater
2.5% freshwater
Can only use .4%
Because it’s frozen or too far underground
All of the water that exists on earth today existed when the planet was first found 4.5 billion years ago
Water scarcity
Not enough water available to meet demands
Physical water scarcity
Desert regions
Environment takes a toll on their supply of water
Economic water scarcity
There’s enough water for all of the people living in these areas but they can’t get to it
Lack of money, tools, filtration for it
Millions of people everyday spend a majority of their day looking for clean water
Desertification
Deserts are expanding
Pollution
Half of the .4% is polluted water
Chemicals from run-off (golf courses, lawns, fertilizer, etc.)
Fertilize a lot during the rainy season, more run-off
Sewage
Boats, cars, vehicles
Oil run-offs, oil drilling (distantly connected)
Industry
Factories, etc.
Countries worldwide are controlling the flow of water by building dams, shifting course of rivers, and logging heavily
Take a huge toll on water supply
Hoover Dam constructed
Las Vegas couldn’t exist without it
City in middle of the desert

Main threats to Great Lakes region

Experience pollution, battle for control
So large they look and act like oceans
4th seacoast
Ecosystem and watershed
Great lakes have developed their own ecosystem and watershed
Ecosystem
Community of all the living things in an area
Watershed
Geographic area that includes all of the land and waterways that drain into a body of water
Main threats
Water pollution
Most of these are seen in the Great Lakes
Sewage and wastewater
Domestic households (#1 contributor), industrial and agricultural practices produce wastewater that can cause pollution of many lakes and rivers
Ex of point source pollution
Contains feces, urine & laundry waste
Major problem in developing countries
Untreated sewage water in such areas can contaminate the environment and cause diseases such as diarrhea
People flush chemical and pharmaceutical substances down the toilet
Marine dumping
Dumping of litter into sea or body of water
Point source
Degrading times in water
Cardboard
2 weeks
Newspaper
6 weeks
Photodegradable packaging
6 weeks
Foam
50 years
Styrofoam
80 years
Aluminum
200 years
Plastic packaging
400 years
Glass
Takes too long
Don’t know…