List of natural and artificial sources of water on Earth

List of natural and artificial sources of water on Earth

Water is life, which explains why it is important to know and protect the sources of water on earth. There are natural sources that occur not by any influence from man but have always existed from the time the world came into existence. These are resources that have been used by man over time without being depleted. They may have changed or degraded due to human influence, but they continue to exist naturally. On the other hand, some water resources are artificial in the sense that they have been triggered to exist as a result of man's doing. Either way, all forms of water sources need to be protected for the betterment of man's life.

sources of water
Source: UGC

Most people can do without food for a while but this cannot be said for lack of water. Water is known to be a major support of all life. Whether animals or humans, this liquid is a crucial component for survival. All people, regardless of their economic activity, need water to thrive. Farmers, especially, understand the essence of having it in plenty since it is needed for plant and animal life support. Water is also crucial for the daily running of homesteads. This said, it is important, therefore, to invest in the protection of these sources, whether artificial or natural sources. With most natural sources already known, people need to understand how to protect rivers, lakes, oceans, streams, springs, and others that occur naturally. It is also important to learn how to make the most of what is available for consumption since some of it cannot be used directly. Artificial sources, on the other hand, are different as they are dependent on the purpose of their creation.

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Natural sources of water

Natural water sources include:

  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Ponds
  • Streams
  • Oceans
  • Seas
  • Rain water
  • Glacial or ice melt
  • Ground water

Artificial sources of water

While natural sources are sometimes obvious because they have existed for a long time, it is not always so easy to point out the artificial ones. These include:

  • Boreholes
  • Canals
  • Tube wells
  • Wells
  • Dams

Each of these man-made sources are essential in helping support life on earth. Seeing that 3/4 of the earth is comprised of water, it is easy to see why having access to it within reach is a major concern for most people. Let us look at the details of some of these artificial sources.

1. Boreholes

sources of water
Source: UGC

According to Wikipedia, boreholes refer to a narrow shaft horizontally or vertically bored into the ground. While there are numerous reasons for constructing a borehole, including the extraction of oil and natural gases, water access is one of the most common reason behind it. Most large farms rely on such boreholes to have enough supply to sustain production. In fact, institutions of higher learning may also have their own boreholes, especially if their population is big. Boreholes allows constant supply and access to clean water without having to rely on the government's supply only.

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2. Wells

These are not very different from boreholes, only that a well may not be as deep as a borehole which cuts through the surface of the earth to access water. It is possible to drill a well especially if the area is dry and one may need to go further into the ground before finding the precious liquid. Wells are arrived at after excavating to have access to the ground water stored in underground aquifers. This may be achieved through digging, drilling or driving, whichever is convenient at the time.

Wells are a common phenomenon in most communities that experience problems with this natural commodity. Well projects are often funded by governments and non governmental organizations to guarantee access to clean H2O to these people. The only issue with sinking wells is that there is always the possibility of methane gas seeping through, though this is not often the case. Wells make life easier for people and animals as it makes it possible for clean water to be availed. This way, economic activities such as farming can be supported conveniently.

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3. Tube well

This is a unique kind of well. A tube well occurs when an iron pipe with a steel end with perforations at its end is bored into the ground aquifer to the point where a water bearing stratum is arrived at. With the help of a suction pump, the liquid is able to reach the surface where it is strained and ready for use. This type of well is mainly used for irrigation purposes. How deep the pipe goes depends on the area's water table.

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4. Canals

Canals refer to artificial waterways which are meant for supporting transport or just used to convey the liquid from natural bodies to where it is needed. The engineering is done in such a way that there are a series of dams and locks built to create reservoirs which are often known as levels that in turn help to minimize and slow down the speed of the current flow. In some instances, these canals are used for irrigation.

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5. Dams

sources of water
Source: UGC

Simply put, a dam refers to a barrier that prevents the flow from an underground stream or even surface flow like a river. Dams are commonly used to collect water for storage. They are actually common in highly agricultural areas that need constant supply of water for irrigation. In most cities of the world, dams are used in generation of electricity as well as to serve residential areas for daily use. Dikes or floodgates, on the other hand, are just used to manage the flow into specific regions.

With the above artificial sources of water discussed already, one can easily tell that they are crucial in supporting the natural sources that already exist. In fact, reservoirs like dams are a great way of utilizing the naturally occurring water from rivers and underground streams. While there is plenty of water on earth, most of this is in the seas and oceans which means that it is salty which cannot be used directly for consumption. The man-made option is, therefore, a great way of maximizing the usage of usable water instead of reclaiming the salty one which would otherwise be very expensive.

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