Human Environment Interactions--Water and Waste

I.  Water
   A.  On the earth's surface:
       1.  97.2% is ocean
       2.  2.5% is frozen
       3.  .65% is freshwater
   B.  The hydrological cycle (figure)
   C.  Critical Roles of the Hydrosphere
       1.  Renewable resource
       2.  Life Sustaining
       3.  Agriculture and Industry constrains development (Colorado River no longer drains to the Ocean)
   D.  Human-Induced Changes
       1.  Regional Supplies/Needs
       2.  Silt loads because of topsoil loss
       3.  Pollution (i.e. North Carolina)
       4.  Increase in algae (nitrates from farmlands)
   E.  Water Pollution
       1.  Wastewater treatment
       2.  90 % of sewage is untreated in developing countries
       3.  India (70%), China (80% of rivers), Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Eastern Europe, and Russia
       4.  In El Nino years, massive influxes of untreated water into the oceans
            --Huntington Beach is closed because of untraceable sewage leak
II.  Solid Waste
   A.  Proportional to population and per capita income
   B.  200 million tons per year, 3.5 lbs. per day
   C.  History of solid waste
       1.  more explicit in other countries: trash litters the outskirts of cities, radiating outwards
       2.  mounds of waste in archeological records
   D.  Landfills
       1.  Open vs. Sanitary
       2.  75% of U.S. goes to landfills; declining availability
       3.  New York: part of their waste goes to the ocean, they outsource their waste
       4.  NIMBY effect--no place for waste but a large market for waste places
   E.  Incineration
       1.  20% of U.S. waste is incinerated (125 incinerators)
       2.  Waste to Energy
       3.  Produces dioxin, acid gases, and heavy metals
       4.  Japan incinerates 75% of their solid waste which leads to high dioxin levels
   F.  Ocean Dumping
   G.  Toxic Wastes
       1.  Toxic: death or serious injury to humans or animals
       2.  Hazardous:  immediate or long-term human health risk
       3.  10% of industrial waste materials are toxic
       4.  Pollutes groundwater and leads to air pollution
   H.  Radioactive Waste
       1.  Low-level (100 years) vs. high-level (10,000-240,000 years)
       2.  "Spent-Fuel"
       3.  Storage Problems: some in ocean, some in the Northwest
   I.  Exporting Waste
       1.  New York exports 3,774,000 tons
       2.  Illinois exports 2,800,000 tons
       3.  California exports 453,183 tons
       4.  Environmental Racism: send waste to communities that do not have the means to respond politically