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MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF EVS

DEPLETING NATURE OF RESOURCES

THEORY

Depleting Nature of Environmental resources

Resources that are present in nature are called Environmental resources.


Few examples are as follows:

Air, wind, and atmosphere

Plants (Flora)

Animals (Fauna)

Coal and fossil fuels

Minerals

Soils

Water, oceans, lakes, and rivers

These natural resources are either renewable (inexhaustible) or non renewable (exhaustible). The
exhaustible resources will be utilized by the human race for their use and developments.
Non renewable resources are further classified in 2 parts. These are:

Recyclable: These resources can be collected or gathered after they are used and can be
recycled. Such resources are mainly non- energy resources, which occur on the earth's crust,
Examples are one it aluminum and other metals.

Non-recyclable: These resources cannot be recycled in any way for example mineral energy
resources such as fossil as fuels (Coal, oil and natural gas and natural energy).

MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF EVS

DEPLETING NATURE OF RESOURCES

THEORY

Solar Energy

Air, Wind

Renewable

Water, Tides

Soil, Plants

Resources

Fossil Fuels,
Oils, Coal,
Natural Gas
Non Renewable

Mettallic
minerals e.g:
Iron
Non mettallic
minerals e.g:
Salt

Currently we face a problem of depletion of natural resources despite the fact that
they are not available in abundance. As the world population increases the need of
the natural resources has increased. Depletion of natural resources could result in
losses of ecosystems.
Causes for depletion of natural resources:
1. Population explosion
As discussed earlier, increase in population leads to increase in the use of
natural resources which is generally greater than the rate of their production.
Population explosion leads to human settlements, clearing land for
cultivation, intensive agriculture for intensified food production and
2

MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF EVS

DEPLETING NATURE OF RESOURCES

THEORY

overgrazing. Similarly, there is a strong correlation between the population


growth rates and deforestation rates.
2. Economic Growth
Economic growth intensifies developmental activities. Increase in industrial
production leads to good economic growth but at the cost of using or
depleting natural resources or even by polluting the natural environment.
Rapid urbanization leads to use of high energy and hence wastage of the
same. Transportation further leads to use of energy and the output is
pollution in the form of gases that are released in the environment.
3. Other reasons are deforestation, mining, fishing, farming, pollution, etc.

Depleting nature of Environmental resources like Soil, Water, Minerals and


Forests
Soil
Main aim of farming is to produce food at cheaper rates and give it to the people.
Crops are grown with the help of fertilizers and pesticides which degrade the natural
mineral content in the soil. Also the agricultural produce is having a mineral content
which is consumed by the human beings but these natural contents are not sent
back in the fields.
Acid rains also destroy the mineral content of the soil. Acid rain is rain that has
been made acidic by certain pollutants in the air; once again these pollutants are
released by man-made developments.
Erosion removes the soil organic matter where much of the soil's nutrient reserve
exists. Soils that are low in organic matter, or have lost much of it through erosion
exhausts the soil's native nitrogen supply quickly compared to soils unaffected by
erosion or low organic matter. Erosion of soil organic matter not only causes
nitrogen loss, but also loss of other nutrients, including sulphur and boron. Erosion is
the movement of soil by water, wind, or gravity. The rate of erosion is highest when
soil is not covered by a protective layer of plants or decaying organic matter.
Industrial farmland is particularly susceptible to erosion due to intensive tillage
(plowing), which eliminates protective ground cover from the soil surface and
destroys root systems that help hold soil together. Since soil formation is an
extraordinarily slow process, erosion poses a serious problem; soil erosion can
quickly cause fertile farmland to become unsuitable for agriculture. In extreme
cases, erosion can lead to desertification, a process which causes arid soil to
become barren and incapable of sustaining plant growth for many years.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF EVS

DEPLETING NATURE OF RESOURCES

THEORY

Over-Fertilization with Some Nutrient Elements creates deficiencies in the Supply


of Other Nutrients. Agriculture practices continue to damage and deplete this
valuable natural resource. While intensive plowing and monocrop agriculture
systems have caused nutrient depletion and wide-scale soil erosion, overapplication of fertilizers and pesticides have contaminated soils.

Water
Groundwater is a valuable resource throughout the world. Where surface water,
such as lakes and rivers, are scarce or inaccessible, groundwater supplies many of
the hydrologic needs of people everywhere. 2.5 percent of the water on the Earth
can be drunk. The balance 97.5 percent is salt water that we cannot use unless it is
desalinated. Of the 2.5 percent that we can use, about three-fourths is frozen in the
ice caps and glaciers, leaving just one quarter for household use. Fresh water is
found in lakes, rivers, streams, underground, and glaciers.
Water covers more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface. But fresh water represents
less than 0.5% of the total water on Earth. Worldwide, the consumption of water is
doubling every 20 years - more than twice the rate of increase in population. A large
amount of water is wasted in agriculture, industry, and urban areas. Fresh water
resources are depleting due to mismanagement and increase human population.
Depletion of fresh water resources can be due to variety of reasons like disposing
agricultural, industrial and urban wastes in lakes and rivers. Also there is increasing
competition on who will utilize the groundwater, the competitors being agricultural
sector, industry or human beings for household purposes.
Pollution in air causes crisis like acid rain which contaminates the water. This water
comes in fresh water settlements and even gets accumulated in ground
contaminating the soil.
Disposing contaminated water can also have an adverse effect on the aquatic life.
The pollutions deplete the oxygen content in water reducing the green aquatic
growth and affecting the water life.

Minerals

MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF EVS

DEPLETING NATURE OF RESOURCES

THEORY

Natural resources are important for economic development. But there resources are
limitedly available. Mining and related activities are conducted on a large scale
worldwide to extract minerals that can be used by human beings for a variety of
purposes.

The rate of increase in world population, development in developing countries and


under developed countries will certainly put pressure on the mining activities and
these vital resources will be extracted and will become extinct.

Forests
Causes of depletion

Extracting wood which is required for development activities like


homes and furnitures
Burning forests for farmlands

building

Majorly seen in developing and under developed countries as the forest cover is
reduced for developmental activities. The Corporate and Government exploits the
lands for extracting resources and building new avenues.