As a key component to life, water is first needed for survival. Originally a nomadic species, humans used to follow their food source and water was a secondary necessity. It wasn’t until the use of domestication that people began to settle anywhere, and when they did settle it was near a readily accessible and sustainable water supply. Since that point on, the prime hubs of civilization were where the larger sources of fresh water were.
It wasn’t until humanity had a mastery of their environment and technology that they were able to use water in ways other than the basics means of drinking, bathing, and washing clothes. With the advent of boats, water soon became a mode of travel, gathering food from the deeper waters, and transporting goods. Even later still, through the use of canals, irrigation troughs, and dams, people began to use gravity and the flow of water to move it to where they needed or wanted it to be. Eventually with inventions like the waterwheel, people used the flow of water to produce mechanical energy that helped transform what was once tedious and time consuming into something manageable. Today water has so many more uses and even produces electricity.
Yet for all the advancement in water related areas, water was taken for granted as something that would always be available and clean. Now, the water that used to be used to drink and provide food resources is polluted and dangerous. When the growing industries of earlier centuries used rivers and lakes as a dumping location, the water wasn’t even suitable to swim in. It was little wonder that the prosperity of these areas which were once so favorable, began to fall. Although it took too long to realize, people learned that if they undermined the purpose of water, they would suffer as well.
With the world’s population over six and a half billion, people are beginning to find that on this planet of water there isn’t enough of it that is usable, and food supplies like the ocean that were once thought abundant enough to live off forever are running out of food. As with any system, the point of equilibrium has already been reached and without a concentrated recovery movement, the benefits of the water in the world will run out. Now the boundless prosperity and stability that people once thought they had with their water is showing a darker reflection due to their mismanagement. But it isn’t too late.
Although water is widely unusable, it can be cleaned and used as needed. For those few parts of the world that are still blessed with unaffected waters, it is best to leave them for the nature they support. As long as a stable balance of nature can be achieved at one location, then it is self-supporting and one less thing for humanity to feel obligated to maintain. All it takes in the present is a concerted effort to fix the damage, and it is more than just possible. When the right balance of technology and effort has been applied, a time of water supported prosperity and stability can return.