Freshwater Resource Challenge | Description |
Overdrawing Surface Water | Removing too much freshwater from a river or lake. When surface waters are overdrawn, wetlands dry up.  |
Aquifer Depletion | Aquifer depletion is the removal of ground water faster than it can be recharged. Aquifer depletion lowers the water table. Prolonged aquifer depletion drains an aquifer dry, eliminating it as a water resource. |
Saltwater Intrusion | Saltwater intrusion is the movement of seawater into a fresh water aquifer. Saltwater intrusion can also cause well water in certain areas to become too salty for human consumption or other freshwater uses. |
Ocean Water Resource Challenge | Description |
Coastal Development | “Development of resorts, cities, industries, and agriculture along coasts alters or destroys many coastal ecosystems” (Berg and Hager, 2006). |
Marine Pollution | Both coastal and marine ecosystems receive pollution from land, and rivers emptying into the ocean, and from atmospheric contaminants that enter the ocean via precipitation. |
Shipping, Ocean Dumping and Plastic Debris | Ships are constantly dumping oily ballast and other wastes overboard in the neritic and oceanic provinces. U.S. coastal cities have dumped their sewage sludge into the ocean. Trash containing plastics are released into the ocean from coastal communities, sometimes accidentally, from cargo ships. These plastic products don't biodegrade; they photo degrade, meaning that they break down into smaller pieces but exist for an indefinite period. |

A major challenge to our freshwater resource is pollution and humans have definitely contributed greatly to the problem. According to Chapter 10 of Visualizing Environmental Science (Berg and Hager, 2006); water pollution is a global problem that varies in magnitude and type of pollutant from one region to another. In many locations, particularly in developing countries, the main water pollution issue is providing individuals with...