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Water and Arid Regions

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Fresh water is an essential component of human life. Arid territories experience acute shortages of fresh water due to lack of rainfall. The lack of water has contributed to the slowed development in most of these regions, especially those located in developing countries. Various techniques of providing fresh water to these regions have been set in place through government policies and the private sector initiatives. These techniques include desalination, isotope techniques, recycling sewage and effluent water, and drilling of boreholes. All these techniques require some costs and technically experienced personal. The feasibility of a technique depends on its viability or non-viability in terms of its efficiency. Success would depend on how well the entire project is planned and implemented. Thus, it is vital for government and private planners intending to supply fresh water to arid regions, to consider the feasibility of each technique before choosing the most viable technique.

This report assesses the feasibility of fresh water provision in arid regions, taking into consideration the costs involved and the technical aspects of each method.

Desalination is a fresh water supply technique that entails several processes that eliminate salt components from the saline water. This means that salty water is effectively processed, in order to receive fresh water that is later supplied to different arid regions. This freshwater is needed to meet the demand of human consumption and agricultural irrigation. This technique does not depend on the availability of rainfall but on the availability of salty water from either the sea or any other salty water source. In order to satisfy the supply of fresh water to arid regions, desalination must be carried out on a large scale. According to the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (2006, p 110), large-scale desalination involves the use of large amounts of energy, expensive specialized infrastructure and technologies. This means that a large amount of capital must be dedicated to desalination programmes. The desalination program requires implementation of other supportive techniques that involve extra costs. Therefore, supplying fresh water in arid regions using the desalination technique is expensive; and this makes it less feasible. It is not feasible because it involves excessive costs that could be used to develop these regions in other aspects. In addition, desalination is not feasible because it requires complex techniques that might take a long time to be adopted. Therefore, other effective methods should be developed to substitute this method and achieve the required level of efficiency in water supply.

Another technique of providing fresh water in arid regions is recycling sewage and effluent water. Sewage water is the water that is found in places where any type of wastes is deposited. Effluent water is the water that emanated from industrial activities within a certain region. This water can be effective recycled through a number of processes, in order to receive fresh water that is supplied to arid regions. Sewage and effluent water recycling entails the use of simple procedures to purify the water. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group II (2007, p 205) asserts that the key objective of this technique is to eliminate the sewage components from the water and purify it for human consumption and irrigation purposes. It is a cost-saving technique, because it entails the use of simple procedures. The technology involved in recycling this water is cheaper, and the labour required to carry out the entire task is minimal. Accordingly, sewage and effluent water recycling is a largely feasible technique of supplying water in arid regions. This is because it promotes savings and it employs simple procedures. It is also highly feasible, because it is a faster technique of supplying water to these regions. Thus, it can be efficiently used in cases where there is an urgent need for water in arid regions.

Drilling deep boreholes in arid regions is another technique to ensure fresh water supply in arid regions. Boreholes are the deep holes that are sunk in arid regions with the aim of providing fresh water. With this technique, boreholes are sunk, and pipes for water supply fixed in order to supply water to a wider area. Boreholes ensure that there is a constant supply of fresh water in these regions, because they do not dry up even as other resources disappear in periods of biting drought. Boreholes ensure that large areas are covered with relevant water supply for human consumption and irrigation purposes. Alsharhan (2011, p 150) points out that drilling of boreholes is a highly feasible technique of fresh water supply in arid regions, because of its wide coverage. Furthermore, the technique is feasible because it ensures that there is a constant supply of water. There are large costs associated with this technique; huge financing is required since the very beginning if the project implementation. This technique ensures that there is provision of water to numerous individuals, as they share the water supply pipes. Therefore, it is an effective and feasible water supply technique to arid areas. Planners should adopt it in order to ensure that there is adequate water supply in regions in need.

The isotope technique of fresh water provision in arid regions entails the maintenance of ground water level. This technique ensures that ground water is maintained in its fresh state and provided to various regions by the use of hydraulic equipment. This technique involves the use of complex technology but limited labour. It is capital intensive as it produces fresh water from the existing ground water basins. It ensures that the water is not salty by eliminating the salty components. Wheater et al. (2010) points out that this water can be used for both human consumption and irrigation. It covers a larger area, hence, serving many individuals residing in arid regions. It is a feasible method in terms of its coverage and the elimination of salty components from the water. On the other hand, this technique may not be feasible because it involves excessive costs that would have been used for other vital projects, which improve the standards of living in these regions. This method would be adopted in cases where there is a need for continuous monitoring of arid lands’ ground waters. Therefore, the isotope technique is feasible to some measure and less feasible in other ways.

In conclusion, water is an essential resource that is needed for the continuity of the human life. Arid regions refer to those places that do not experience adequate rainfall; thus, there is a need to supply them with fresh water. Various techniques of fresh water provision have been adopted in order to ensure that there is sustainability and economic growth of the hot regions. This water is used for both human consumption and promotion of agriculture through irrigation. These techniques could be measured in terms of their feasibility in order to determine their overall benefits and efficiency. The techniques include desalination that involves the use of complex technology and excessive costs to eliminate the salt deposits in water. It is not a feasible method of water provision because it is rather expensive. Drilling boreholes is a feasible method of the arid region water provision as it ensures continuous supply of water. It only involves high initial costs, which are crucial for its development. Recycling sewage and effluent water is another significant method of providing fresh water in these regions. It is feasible in terms of timeliness; and fewer costs are involved. Fresh water provision in arid regions should be carried out using the most feasible methods so that available costs are used to meet other vital needs in these regions.

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