Reasons for Lakes Shrinking

The “shrinking” of the world’s lakes can be directly linked to the world’s population growth.  Many places in the world are expeienceing massive population growth, and this is leading to many problems for the world’s lakes.  Rivers and streams are being redirected to irrigate farms and to provide a source of energy for the world through hydro power plants.  This cuts the life out of lakes, which need the direct flow of rivers and streams to maintain constant water levels. 

In areas like Lake Chad, more cattle and animals are being raised to support the growing population, leading to an increase in consumption of water, not only from humans, but from animals.  The humans are removing any trees around lakes to access better farm land, but this leads to a loss of soil to rain and it goes straight into the lake, making it shallower and dirtier also.  The large amount of animals also cause this by eating much of the vegetation around the lake and drinking the water.  Some people also would link a rising temperature to the loss of water from the lake, but this factor is minor compared to the environmentally devastating effects of human population growth. 

The loss of water from this is measurable in small amounts, not comparable to the size of devastation caused by the previously stated events.  Some lakes, especially in North America, are suffering from an effect scientists have labeled as post-glacial rebound, which is the process by which earth’s surface is literally “rebounding” back up from the weight that was once forced on it by glaciers.  This is causing shifts in water flow and in water level in lakes, particularly in North America and Great Britain.  These changes are forcing scientists to look into the future to try and see what will happen to the Great Lakes, which provide a lot of the water for the Northeast. 

Another major cause to lakes “shrinking” is the development of heavy industry in parts of the world.  The processes in the factories often require a lot of water for cooling and other uses and they dump chemicals into lakes and rivers, making the water very unsafe to drink.  This drives people away from the areas and can lead to the lake shrinking due to neglect.  These different things are the major contributors to the “shrinking” of the world’s lakes, and most of the damage is irreversible.  It is causing many great alarm and many more to go thirsty everyday.  These acts need to be limited to prevent our world’s lakes from disappearing.