Environment and Society

Environment and Society

Question

What are the major environmental issues associated with depletion of resources ?

Answer
Depletion of Resourses :

1. Using up non-renewable natural resources is one of the most serious environmental problems. While fossil fuel and specially

petroleum hog the headlines, the depletion and destruction of water and land is probably even more rapid. The rapid decline in groundwater levels in an acute problem all over India, especially in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

2. Aquifers which have accumulated water over hundreds and thousands of years are being emptied in a period of a few decades to meet the growing demands of intensive agriculture, industry and urban centres.

3. Rivers have also been dammed and diverted, causing irreversible damage to the ecology of water basins. Many water bodies in urban areas have been filled up and built upon, destroying the natural drainage of the landscape. Like groundwater, topsoil too is created over thousands of years. This agricultural resource, too, is being destroyed due to poor environmental management leading to erosion, water-logging and salinisation.

4. The production of bricks for building houses is another reason for the loss of topsoil.

5. Biodiversity habitats such as forests, grasslands and wetlands are the other major resources facing rapid depletion, largely due to the expansion of areas under agriculture. Though various parts of the globe, including some parts of India, appear to hava seen some re-forestation or increase in vegetative cover in recent decades, the overall trend is towards the loss of biodiversity.

6. The shrinking of these habitats has endangered many species, several of them unique to India. You may have read of the recent crisis when it was discovered that the tiger population had fallen sharply despite strict laws and large sanctuaries.

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