chapter  2
36 Pages

Population development and water

ByMalin Falkenmark, Gunnar Lindh

This chapter discusses the development of world population in relation to the water resources on which that population is dependent to maintain its communities, industry, and agriculture. The absolutely vital role of water in society is connected with its very special physical properties, which in turn are due to the internal structure of the water molecule. Water supply, like climatic conditions, varies from one part of world to another. There is a similar variation in need to extract water, because irrigation requirements also vary with climate. Water has a far greater dissolving power than any other substance, and therefore plays an important part in chemical industries, all the more so as it is cheap. In countries with small irrigation requirements, industry usually accounts for the greater part of water demand. The soil carried by the water into the Nile delta also encouraged the growth of algae and fish off the Mediterranean coast as far away as Lebanon to the northeast.