A Sweet Briar College Learning Resource
WATER in the WORLD TODAY
Professor Sang Hwang
The earth is currently undergoing a dramatic level of change. Humans beings now have the capacity to modify earth's basic life support systems and alter the global geophysical processes which took millions of years to evolve in matter of decades. The dramatic changes in geophysical, social, cultural, and economic systems have provided higher levels of productivity, increasingly connected global communications, and higher levels of wealth to more developed, richer countries of the world. For much of the population on the planet, however, the changes have brought about increasing levels of poverty, ecological degradation, and cultural fragmentation.
One of the most important life support systems on the planet is the hydrologic cycle. We are facing serious consequence for the current and future generations in the way we are contaminating our freshwater resource. A recent 1998-1999 Report on freshwater resources cite following disturbances in the current freshwater system.
Photograph: © Jim Holmes
(SOURCE: Peter Gleik. The World's Water: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources. 1998. Island Press. Washington DC)
H20 - The Mystery, Art, and Science of Water
Chris Witcombe and Sang Hwang
Sweet Briar College