Assignment: SCI203 Phase 1 Lab Report
Title: Human Impacts on the Sustainability of Groundwater
After reviewing groundwater levels from the last 3 centuries, the purpose of this lab is to see we have evolved and what our future holds for groundwater. If our current human development doesn’t change, will groundwater sustainability be affected?
Earth’s surface has more than 70% water, however only 1% of water on Earth is deemed accessible and able to use freshwater to sustain human and other organism’s lives. Of that freshwater this is accessible, only 99% is located natural underground water chambers, aquifers, or other groundwater sources. The bad thing is human population is depleting these aquifers so fast they can’t be recharged by hydrological cycles. This makes ¾ of groundwater nonrenewable.
As population continues to grow and we use up all our resources we are going to struggle in future generations if we don’t make significant changes.
The procedure for this lab took data gathered from hydrologic cycle and shows the impact of industrialization and human development of ground water from over 3 centuries. The methods show over time what happened to forests, groundwater, saltwater, farming, industrial development and population and how these changes impact us.
I feel the outcome is pretty simple. If we continue to grow our population at the pace we are there needs to be significant changes. There is no way we can continue to use our resources without finding alternatives solutions. We already can’t supply food and water to everybody.
|Time Period||Impact to Forest||Groundwater Levels||Saltwater Intrusion||Farming||Industrial development||Population|
|1800s||Large forests||Lots of groundwater||No salt water intrusion||Small farms||No cities||Limited housing|
|1900s||Decreased by 50%||Decreased by 50%
|Ocean moved into groundwater||Farms are larger, but there are fewer||Exceptional growth of cites and industrial development||Substantial increase in housing|
|2000s||Decreased by 90%||Decreased by 90%||Greater movement of ocean into ground water||Same number of farms, but size decreased by 20%||Industrial development decreased by 10-15%||Housing development decreased by 10-15%|
Nothing in this data surprises me. With forty percent of the world’s food using irrigation and current rate of groundwater not changing will have a reduction in food production all over the world. Current projections have human population reaching 10 billion within 50 years. This is a little under doubling the population we have now and we already don’t have enough resources (Wright & Boorse, 2010).
Wright, R. T., & Boorse, D. F. (2010). Environmental science: Toward a sustainable future. (11th ed.) White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley