Resource Shortage Paper

Essay by sherlonCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2006

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Water is an essential commodity for human existence. It is used for consumption, maintaining public health, agriculture, industry, and for transportation. Serious water scarcities will affect virtually every aspect of human life. Water resources are enormously skewed geographically, and many countries with lower water availability also have high rates of population growth.

The Problem

Along with a rapid population growth and economic development, China has been facing a serious water shortage problem. With a population of about 1.3 billion, China, though ranking only after Brazil, Russia and Canada in fresh water resources, has become one of the 13 countries with the most serious water shortage problem in terms of per capita water resource possession, especially in its arid northern and northwest regions. China's water resources currently are about 2,000 cubic meters of water per capita per year. When the population would reach 1.6 billion in 2030, the water resource availability would be about 1,700 cubic meters of water per capita per year.

According to commonly accepted standard, when water resource per capita per year in a country is lower than 1,700 cubic meters, this country will be considered as water resource shortage country.

Currently, over 400 out of 600-odd Chinese cities are short of water, with Beijing and Tianjin, the national capital and a major port city in the north, at a critical moment of water shortage, according to statistics from the Ministry of Water Resources.

Additional issues related to water shortage within this nation are the inadequate management of the resource by the government, including wastewater management and uneven distribution of river and rainwater; poor public awareness of environmental protection; and the overuse of underground water.

Political and Economic Issues

In 1979 the Environmental Protection law was developed, in 1989 it was revised to protect and improve the...