Water Issues Essay

Submitted By kalimarie93
Words: 800
Pages: 4

All around the world there is a serious water quality and quantity issue. Water is important to us for many different reasons. Some of those reasons including survival, moderating the climate, and removal of wastes (Dr. Harrahy, Lecture 28, April 2014). Without water we cannot survive. The sad part is, there is not much freshwater actually available for us to use. Only about 0.02% of the Earth’s water supply is available as liquid freshwater (Dr. Harrahy, Lecture 28, April 2014). We have a serious issue and need to think about what we are doing. People need to start using their water more wisely. We are currently using more than 50% of Earth’s surface water. By 2025 it is expected that we will be using 70-90% of the surface water (Dr. Harrahy, Lecture 28, April 2014). Approximately 70% of the water that is currently being withdrawn from lakes, rivers, and aquifers is not being returned to them. Most of the water we use in the United States is used for irrigation. Nearly 70% of the water we use goes toward irrigation. 20% of the water used in the U.S. is used for industries. Only 10% of the water we use is for drinking (Dr. Harrahy, Lecture 28, April 2014). The water quality and quantity issues are closer to home than we think. Waukesha, Wisconsin is having an issue with both.
Waukesha is having major issues with water quality and quantity. The groundwater level in Waukesha has lowered by more than 500 feet. The government of Waukesha is now asking to take water from Lake Michigan (Dr. Harrahy, Lecture 29, April 2014).
The Great Lakes belong to the United States. They do not belong to a specific state or providence. There is a Great Lakes Compact in effect. The Great Lakes compact is an agreement between the eight states bordering the lakes and also the two Canadian provinces, to manage the water (Dr. Harrahy, Lecture 29, April 2014). This was put into effect by Congress and President Bush in 2008. The compact is addressing water quantity only, not quality. There are two main steps in the Great Lakes Compact. The first step of the compact requires the states and provinces to develop water management plans for groundwater and surface water. Examples of this would be withdrawal from a basin and consumptive use for bottling (Dr. Harrahy, Lecture 29, April 2014). The second part of the compact bans diversion of water from the Great Lakes. There are a few exceptions though. Counties like Waukesha or communities that straddle the Great Lakes can request to use the water. The water must be returned and it must only be used for public use (Dr. Harrahy, Lecture 29, April 2014).
Waukesha has requested water from Lake Michigan. Waukesha’s current water is contaminated with radium. Waukesha also does not technically sit in the Great Lakes basin (Water and Waukesha, 2013). Waukesha’s water problem has been around since the 1980’s. The city draws water from an aquifer by Lake Michigan. There was too much water being drawn from the aquifer and it was being overused. Because of…