In order to preserve water and to prevent misuse or problems with water supplies, methods for managing water sources are available. Water management includes controlling the amount of water taken from lakes, rivers, estuaries and streams. Water management may also prevent water from being wasted or distributed throughout a city or town unevenly. Adequate management of water will ensure that money and energy is saved, and that water used for drinking or bathing remains clean and hygienic for human use. Considering that the earth consists of approximately 2.5 percent fresh water, managing and saving water becomes an important factor to consider.
Natural disasters may be a dangerous factor contributing to the loss and contamination of fresh water. Hurricanes and tornados may cause flooding, which may cause damage to water resources such as sewers, canals and irrigation systems. Floods may also cause dams and rivers to overflow, wasting water that would be used for domestic, environmental and agricultural purposes. Water may also become contaminated due to runoff from industrial buildings or sewers, reducing the quality of water and potentially allowing airborne diseases to develop. Certain countries are more prone to flooding, for example tropical environments or areas that receive copious amounts of rainfall each year may be at higher risk for flooding. With this in mind, the task of managing water in these countries becomes an imperative task.
Another aspect of water management that becomes an important factor is the adequate storing of water. In emergency situations or natural disasters such as hurricanes, ensuring that there is a source of water for back-up may prevent disease due to dehydration or unsanitary water sources. In hurricane Katrina, for example, excessive flood water infested with sewage, pesticides, metals and bacteria were pumped into Lake Pontchartrain. The immense flooding throughout the area devastated the city’s water supplies, and the draining of excess water took over forty days.
With the conditions of the environment today, such as the increasing fear of the effects of global warming, it is becoming more and more important to control how water is managed. The management of water ensures that water is evenly distributed to homes, agricultural operations, businesses and sewage plants. Due to the fact that fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce, methods for managing water ensure that this precious resource is not wasted. This method may also help to maintain the natural resources that rely on fresh water to thrive.