G4 question- To what extent is it possible to meet demand for water sustainably?

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  • To what extent is it possible to meet demand for water sustainably?
    • Water recycling- is it sustainable?
      • -It is low cost when comparing it to treating, processing and consuming 'new' water so economically it is good..
      • Little economic or environmental negative impacts however, socially it has potential health risks as it may contain bacteria such as E.coli or other harmful substances. This is then transported to where ever the water is being used. Also when irrigating fields, there is a chance of food borne illness.
      • there is a negative public perception of it being dangerous and contaminated
      • It saves water which is good for the environment.
      • It helps irrigation and fertilisation  which is good for food production. Recycled water has additional benefits for the farming industry because as it has been through a less thorough process, it contains higher amounts of certain chemicals which helps to fertilize plants.
      • overall, in comparison to other schemes, water recycling is sustainable and will meet the needs of future generations.
    • Ground water, is it sustainable?
      • Ground water is free and unregulated so socially, people can afford it.
      • it is a good source of water to use where there is no surface water.
      • Environmentally, the San Joaquin farmers constantly pumping the valleys ground water has caused a large decline in the water table, increasing the pumping cost.
        • Many wells eventually dry went dry and thousands of acres of farmland were faced out or production,
      • As it is unregulated and free, although this is good for local farmers, projects could lose money.
      • After time, when too much water has been extracted from the ground, the pore spaces between the soil particles get smaller and the land shrinks.
        • This can have an effect on the foundations of the houses and cracks will appear.
      • It also causes pollution- the chemicals used in fertilizer cause contamination in the water.
      • Overall, I believe that this scheme isn't very sustainable as soon the ground water will run out or get too dangerous to use.
    • Greywater- is it sustainable? It is relatively clean waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines and not toilet or food waste. It is used for irrigation and flushing the toilet.
      • ECONOMIC- Personal water bills are reduced as it lowers the fresh water usage.
        • However, the initial installation can be expensive
      • ENVIRONMENTAL- 1)creates a sustainable landscape. 2)better treatment. 3)convert potential pollutants into nutrients.
        • Most cleaning agents contain sodium salts which can create an alkaline condition and damage the soil structure. 2) in colder climate areas, the soil may be unfit to use these systems during the colder months
      • SOCIAL/HEALTH-1)treated water can contain chemicals like phosphorous that can be beneficial for irrigation plants and can be used on fruit and veg.
        • 1)Concerns about the health standards of the water and quality. 2)greywater may contain  fats, oils, grease, hair, soaps and other harmful chemicals. 3) if not filtered properly, it can cause disease or contamination.
      • This is a good way to save water and as Americans use a lot of water for their garden, this is a good way to save money. Although its expensive to start, you will get your money back if you do it right

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