Sample Geology Paper on Drinking Water Quality and Climate Change

Drinking Water Quality and Climate Change

            Water availability, energy and climate change are intertwined issues that are of great concern to the world today. San Diego and the southwestern part of the United States is one of the areas affected by the lack of enough water to sustain the growing Californian population. San Diego receives its waters from the Colorado River on the south and the Sacramento-San Joaquin bay delta on the north. Both sources are dying out following the four-year drought that was pronounced in California over the last three years. Although the Californian state government has adjusted water use in the state, water scarcity continues to be among the main issues hindering growth in such areas (Vreeburg 67). Water is essential for both domestic and industrial use; therefore, scarcity of this vital community can affect the economy of a society negatively.

            The water problems in San Diego and other parts of the southwestern United States can be blamed on the increased population, climate changes, and most importantly the drought affecting that part of the world. San Diego experiences a Mediterranean climate that is mostly hot and mild. Hot weather raises the need for people to consume more water, which further increased the amount of energy used to generate the required water. Increased use of energy affects the climate further, thus making it hard for the Californian people to catch a break on the water issue (Schrama 89). Additionally, San Diego and California in general is among the fastest growing populations of the world because of immigration. Since World War II, California has become a hub of agriculture and industrialization thus attracting many immigrants to that part of the world. The growing economy and the drought affecting the state require the government to put more efforts to stabilize the availability of water for its people.

            The local water reserves are almost depleted in San Diego but the county does not consider water importation as a viable option. In addition, the recycling of water in San Diego is not well advanced, but the country is planning to borrow the toilet to tap water recycling mechanism from the Orange country to cater for the increasing need of water. However, although the recycling of toilet water has been successful in different counties, the people of San Diego are still skeptical of the sanity of the process and thus require more time to adjust their attitudes towards the same (Vreeburg 109). Generally, water scarcity is a major problem in San Diego and the southwestern US, but there is hope of a better tomorrow.

            Climate change has always been a part of growth and development in the world. However, recent climatic changes pose a great danger to human life because of the excessive production of greenhouse gasses. Gases such as carbon dioxide create a greenhouse effect on planet earth and although many activists have come up to deal with the issue, a solution is yet to be achieved. Industrialization and the desire to live in the modern world have raised the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the world. Scientists indicate that the earth is almost reaching a danger zone in greenhouse effect of about 400 parts per million (Cuff and Andrew 153). However, in comparison with mars and the planet Venus, earth is doing much better hence the habitant planet. For instance, Venus is too hot for survival and the greenhouse effect is beyond the minimal level in Venus. Mars on the other hand is too cold for survival with about the 5K level of greenhouse gas effect. Earth is currently at 33K, which is ideal to support life, but with continued production of greenhouse gasses, the condition can worsen (Cuff and Andrew 49) . The Keeling curve helps in explaining the rising amounts of carbon dioxide in the world. Increase in carbon dioxide raises the temperatures around the world, thus affecting the climate.

            The earth is currently in the interglacial period known as the Holocene. The ice ages have been part of the earth’s evolution for ages and they define the temperatures experienced on the planet. Additionally, ice ages determine the flow of waters in the oceans and the availability of water in the world. The main ice ages that have been present on planet earth include the Huronian, Cryogenian, Karoo ice age, quaternary glaciations, and the Andean-Sahara. The current ice age that the earth is experiencing is characterized by high temperatures and it was expected to last for about 12000 years (Koh, Lin, and Jolene 172).

            The amount of water on earth is constant, but the sea level keeps changing depending on the form in which the water exists. Due to the ice age effects, the sea level has gone down to about 250 feet from what it was around 40 million years ago when ice ages did not exist. Today, the earth is becoming warmer and the sea level is rising because of water expansion. However, the changes in sea level depend on how fats the polar ice will melt. In the near future, sea levels are expected to rise by about 2 feet as the polar ice continues to melt. On the other hand, ocean acidification has risen because of increased carbon dioxide production. The warming has disrupted the solid methane hydrates thus leading to the release of unused methane, which further raises the risk of global warming (Cuff and Andrew 49). Both ocean acidification and the release of methane affects the climate change negatively by rising temperatures. 

Works Cited

Cuff, David J., and Andrew Goudie. The Oxford companion to global change. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Koh, Kheng L., Lin H. Lye, and Jolene Lin. Crucial issues in climate change, the Kyoto Protocol Asia, and the world. Singapore Hackensack, N.J: World Scientific Pub. Co, 2010. Print.

Schrama, Geerten J. Drinking Water Supply and Agricultural Pollution Preventive Action by the Water Supply Sector in the European Union and the United States. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands Imprint Springer, 2012. Print.

Vreeburg, J. H. G. Discoloration in drinking water systems: the role of particles clarified. London, New York: IWA Publishing, 2010. Print.