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Water resources are sources of – usually fresh – water that are useful, or potentially

useful, to society; for instance for agricultural, industrial or recreational use. Water can be
classified into different types which are: surface waters include streams, rivers, lakes,
reservoirs, and wetlands and in this case the word stream represents all flowing surface
water, think large rivers to small brooks and everything in between, the groundwater,
which makes up around 22% of the water we use, is the water beneath the earth’s surface
filling cracks and other openings in beds of rock and sand. It exists in soils and sands that
are able to retain water, the wastewater is any water that has been affected in quality by
human activities, the storm water is defined by U.S. EPA as the runoff generated when
precipitation from rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces
without percolating into the ground and this water runs over surfaces like asphalt
containing pollutants like engine oil, fertilizer, and radiator fluid. Water is a simple
molecule consisting of one oxygen atom bonded to two different hydrogen atoms. The
physical properties of water are as follows: its chemical formula as we are all aware is H2O
and its appearance is colorless, odorless and tasteless liquid in its natural state, its boiling
point as we know, water has a boiling point of 100 C but this relatively high boiling point of
water defies the trend in the periodic table while its freezing point is the same concept
applies to the freezing point of water as well is 0 C, its density is when water is that in the
sold state, it is lensed dense and up to 4°C water’s density does increase on cooling, its
viscosity is that water has high viscosity due to very strong intermolecular interactions, and
lastly, water is an excellent solvent in fact, it is known as a Universal Solvent due to a
water molecule’s polarity, it can dissolve almost any substance. The chemical properties
of water are as follows: its amphoteric nature is while water is neither acidic or basic it acts
as both this is because of its ability to both donate and accept protons, its hydrolysis
reaction is that water has a very high dielectric constant this results in it having a strong
hydrating tendency, its redox reactions is that water is a great source to obtain dihydrogen
since it can be reduced by reacting it with highly electropositive metals such as Sodium.

Globally, water resources are becoming increasingly vulnerable as a result of escalating

demand, arising from population growth, expanding industrialization due to rising living
standards, pollution, and climate change impacts. Climate change, while we have always
had to deal with a variable climate, the majority of studies, analyses and management
techniques have been based on the belief that the hydrological series was stationary, i.e.
while there may be fluctuations, the mean value would remain roughly the same. There
is now mounting evidence of trends in hydrological series. Many areas face a drying and
warming climate and thus potentially less water availability. Increasing vulnerability to
severe weather events: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Technical Paper
on Climate Change and Water highlights the potential for more frequent and more severe
weather events. With increasing populations at risk and the potential for a shift in the risk
profile in many areas, safety of life and property will remain high on the agenda. Growing
urban demand: the population of urban centers continues to grow and urban areas
continue to spread, thus placing greater pressure on water supply systems as well as
reducing the availability of arable land, and, in some cases, placing increased pressure
on water supply catchments. Over-allocation of existing supplies: the water in many
supply systems has been allocated on the basis of past availability or existing demand
and has not been kept in line with current or future availability; thus, many systems are
over-allocated. Unrestricted extractions: in many areas, there are no management plans
or restrictions on water extractions (for example, pumping from rivers and groundwater
extractions). These have resulted in less water being available and have in some case
led to mining of the resource. The expansion of farm dams in some areas also reduces
the supply of water entering river systems. Land-use change: clear-felling, expanding
plantations and the opening of new areas to agriculture all have impacts on the water
resource; unintended events, such as bushfires, can lead to a reduction in the availability
of water and water-quality problems. Changes to land use, even within agricultural areas,
have implications for both water availability and water use. Environmental requirements:
there has been an increasing emphasis on the requirement for environmental flows to
maintain ecosystems such as wetland and in-stream environments. Community
expectations are that we should see the environment as a rightful and high-priority user
of water. This situation is further exacerbated by poor management practices and
unsustainable extraction of water for various consumptive uses. Consequently, many
regions around the world, particularly urban areas are becoming water stressed and
conflicts over access to water are becoming ever more common.

Water-resources management issues have become so pressing that the World Economic
forum named water as one of its top challenges two years in a row, in 2013 and 2014.
Within this changing physical and socio-economic landscape, water practices of the past
are no longer adequate. Countries cannot grow sustainably, or strengthen their resilience
to climate change, without smart water management that takes into account decreasing
water availability and quality, and the need for deliberative allocation based on social,
environmental, and economic needs. Water resource management includes
consideration of all of the above disciplines of hydrology. Water supplies are allocated
and diverted to a range of agricultural, municipal, industrial, hydroelectrically, and
ecological needs. Some of these water uses are consumptive, removing water from the
system (e.g., crop irrigation). Other types of water use return the water to a river, lake, or
to the ground, but the water often requires treatment to restore it to a natural state;
sometimes this is not possible (e.g., industrial tailings ponds). The balancing act involved
in water management includes a broad range of stakeholders and includes water policy
and legal experts. Hydrologists have essential input to these complex and sometimes
confrontational deliberations and negotiations. They also play a central role in applied
hydrology – engineering of major waterworks to manage water. Water distribution
systems have been a hallmark of civilization since Babylon, and the modern stamp on
this includes major hydroelectric dams and reservoirs, urban waterworks, and water
treatment facilities. These and other tools help governments to manage water resources
in a way that serves societal and ecological needs. Water Resources Management
includes: integrated water resources strategy, management and planning, catchment,
allocation and drought modelling, international and trans-boundary river systems planning
and management, water resources infrastructure feasibility studies and investment
strategies, catchment management strategies and plans, climate change assessment
and adaptation, environmental water science and environmental flow requirements, water
quality modelling, assessment and management, water re-use, recycling and
conservation management, groundwater and aquifer modelling and management,
decision support and information management systems, training and capacity building,
institutional and policy development and support, socio-economic assessment, advanced
numerical and physical modelling and irrigation feasibility studies and design. However,
water resource management is one of the world’s greatest challenges due to competition
for limited resources, regional disparities in water supply and affluence, mounting global
water demand, aquifer depletion, and pollution- and climate-change induced water stress.
Integrated sustainable water resource management is an area requiring innovation,
progress, and international cooperation in the coming decades.

Water is one of the most basic human needs and is indispensable to almost all economic
activities, including agriculture, energy production, industry, and mining. With impacts on
health, gender equity, education and livelihood, water management is crucial to
sustainable economic development and the alleviation of poverty. Yet water is under
unprecedented pressures as growing populations and competing economic sectors
demand more of it leaving insufficient water to meet human needs, as well as sustaining
the environmental flows that keep our ecosystems healthy, thus, we must manage our
water resources responsibly to maintain its sustainability.

Ecosystem process is an intrinsic ecosystem characteristic whereby an ecosystem
maintains its integrity. Ecosystem processes include decomposition, production, nutrient
cycling, and fluxes of nutrients and energy. Together, abiotic and biotic factors make up
an ecosystem. Abiotic factors are the non-living parts of an environment. These include
things such as sunlight, temperature, wind, water, soil and naturally occurring events
such as storms, fires and volcanic eruptions. Biotic factors are the living parts of an
environment, such as plants, animals and micro-organisms. Together, they are the
biological factors that determine a species' success. Each of these factors impacts
others, and a mix of both is necessary for an ecosystem to survive. All living things need
food to give them the energy to grow and move. A food chain shows how each living thing
gets its food. In an ecosystem, plants and animals all rely on each other to live. Scientists
sometimes describe this dependence using a food chain or a food web. Food chain is a
linear sequence of organisms which starts from producer organisms and ends with
decomposer species. Food web is a connection of multiple food chains. Food chain follows
a single path whereas food web follows multiple paths. From the food chain, we get to
know how organisms are connected with each other. Food chain and food web form an
integral part of this ecosystem. Let us take a look at the food chain and a food web and
the difference between them. An ecological pyramid is a graphical representation of the
relationship between different organisms in an ecosystem. Each of the bars that make up
the pyramid represents a different trophic level, and their order, which is based on who
eats whom, represents the flow of energy. Energy moves up the pyramid, starting with
the primary producers, or autotrophs, such as plants and algae at the very bottom,
followed by the primary consumers, which feed on these plants, then secondary
consumers, which feed on the primary consumers, and so on. The height of the bars
should all be the same, but the width of each bar is based on the quantity of the aspect
being measured. An ecological pyramid not only shows us the feeding patterns of
organisms in different ecosystems, but can also give us an insight into how inefficient
energy transfer is, and show the influence that a change in numbers at one trophic level
can have on the trophic levels above and below it. Also, when data are collected over the
years, the effects of the changes that take place in the environment on the organisms can
be studied by comparing the data. If an ecosystem’s conditions are found to be worsening
over the years because of pollution or overhunting by humans, action can be taken to
prevent further damage and possibly reverse some of the present damage.

Ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical

environment. It is a functional unit of nature, where living organisms interact among
themselves and also with their surrounding physical environment. The term ‘Ecosystem’
was coined by AG Tansley (1935). Ecologist considers the entire biosphere as a global
ecosystem comprised of many ecosystems on the earth varying in size from a small pond
to a large forest or a sea. Ecosystems consist of living organisms and material
environments of soil, air and water, and occur at a variety of scales. As with all systems
the ecosystem is composed of a series of inputs, processes or stores and outputs.
Although various components within it may change, it is usually maintained in a state of
balance, called dynamic equilibrium. This stability is due to homeostatic mechanisms,
which work rather like the thermostat in a heating system. In an ecosystem, changes thus,
may be shown by feedback, which is ability of the output to control the input. The
organisms living on the earth’s surface constitute the biosphere and are found in the air
(atmosphere), on land (lithosphere) and in water (hydrosphere). At a global scale, land
environments with similar plant and animal communities for natural regions or biomes.

The living organisms in an ecosystem collectively form its community or population. Each
organism interacts with others forming relatively simple food chains and complex food
webs. Each stage in the food chain is called a tropic level. Energy and nutrients pass
through the tropic level, as various organisms are in turn eaten by other organisms of
higher tropic order. The producers are the autotrophs, thus forms the first tropic level.
These are mainly green plants and photosynthetic bacteria, all of which can carry out
photosynthesis. In marine and other fresh water bodies microscopic algae
(phytoplankton) as producer. Producers form the food for the consumers (or
heterotrophs). The consumers are of different tiers. Primary consumers or herbivores
form the second tropic level, feeding directly on the producers. In land based ecosystems
they will include grazing and browsing animals such as antelope, elephant and giraffe,
together with plant eating insects and birds. The third trophic level comprises the second-
ary consumers or carnivores, which feed on the herbivores. A fourth tropic level, the
tertiary consumers, who are also carnivores may occur. Some of the higher level
consumers, for example bears, eat both plants and animals, and are called omnivores.
The decomposers and detrivores form another major component of the biotic structure of
an ecosystem. After plants and animals die, they and their waste products arc
decomposed by saprophytic microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria. Very small
decomposing fragments form detritus, which is then fed on by small animals, detrivores,
including earthworms and woodlice. Ecosystem consists of structured webs or systems
at a range organism and their material environments of soil, air and water. These com-
ponents are linked by movements of energy and nutrients.
The natural ecosystem may be disturbed in a number of ways viz., natural hazards or
man-made activities. Earth quake, volcanoes, cyclone, flood, and landslides are the major
natural hazards that damage the natural ecosystem.

Human activities, specially habitat destruction for agriculture, industrialization and

urbanization, the introduction of non-endemic or alien species, and air, water and land
pollution have caused a large number of plant animal extinctions. This situation compelled
to make conservation and management of ecosystems. Similarly, deforestation, mining,
industrialization, urbanization, and pollution cause serious threat to the natural
ecosystems. Each of the factors of ecosystem damage is interlinked process. Among the
various types of deforestation changes in the globe, the global warming is perhaps most
significant change. The felling and burning of the forests is believed to be having a major
impact on the climate of the World by increasing levels of CO2in the atmosphere. In
September, 1997, the issue of tropical rainforest destruction was brought to the attention
of the World’s community, when it was combined with two other environmental concerns.
A major pollution incident covering large areas of south east Asia and occurred due to the
burning of large areas of rainforest. The burning became uncontrollable, as the area was
already being affected by a drought, thought to be the result of the El-Nino (effect in the
Pacific Ocean).

Management of ecosystems represents people’s attempts to effect change in plant and

animal systems, which may be beneficial and constructive, rather than destructive to their
environment. However, for successful management, it is necessary to fully understand
the workings of ecosystems, the likely causes and effects of change and the concept of
sustainable yield. Several national and international actions was undertaken for protection
of ecosystem vis-a-vis species and habitats protection.