Water Global Human Needs

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Water Global Human Needs

Water Global Human Needs

1) Demonstrate an action oriented understanding of the complex issue of sustainability

Supply of drinking and recreation water has been a major issue in the Greene County, Southwestern Pennsylvania. One of the major reasons for this is the lack of attention given from the part of the government to seek a sustainable source of water supply. Apart from this, water pollution is another major reason that has seriously limited the availability of clean drinking water to the county residents (American Water Works Association, 2007). Cases of illnesses spreading as a result of water pollution have become alarmingly common in Greene County, Southwestern Pennsylvania. This alarming rate of water pollution is mainly the result of large quantities of water contaminants that are dumped into the lakes. Studies have identified Allegheny Energy power plants and abandoned mining sites as being mainly responsible for polluting the water (American Water Works Association, 2007). The Greene County Area has been marked as an 'unhealthy water' area by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Also, the county has an alarmingly high rate of cancer cases when compared with national and state averages. In spite of the obvious risks faced by residents living in the county, there have not been any significant efforts from federal and state officials to establish a sustainable source of clean drinking and recreational water (American Water Works Association, 2007). This case presents a serious challenge for the federal and state-level environmental agencies to seek a sustainable source of clean water for drinking as well as recreation. Federal- and state-level agencies have an opportunity to search for a sustainable and abundant supply of water for residents of Greene County so that their dependency on polluted water is significantly reduced.

2) Describe core sustainability challenges related to Water Global Human Needs

There are numerous reasons why residents of the Greene County are in dire need of a sustainable supply of clean drinking and recreational water (Mays, 2007). For instance, lack of access to clean water has increased the residents' dependency on other less clean sources of water which are seriously contaminated with pollutants. This has exposed the residents to the following health problems (Committee on Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta et al., 2012):

Investigations have identified strong traces of arsenic in tap water. Intake of arsenic is hazardous to human health and can cause lung and bladder cancer along with numerous types of organ dysfunctions.

Particulate matters have also been found in county water and these can lead to decreased lung function, respiratory problems, chronic bronchitis, and premature death.

An alarmingly high quantity of Sulfur dioxide has been found in the county water. Sulfur dioxide is detrimental to human health as numerous researches have linked it to asthma and low birth weight.

Polluted water has a higher chance of hosting parasites and bacteria, both of which are hazardous to human health. The presence of parasites and bacteria in recreational water and drinking water has affected the health of Greene County residents, ...
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