Overconsumption, or people consuming resources faster than they can be replenished, is the main cause of resource depletion. Overpopulation, industrial and technological development, erosion, deforestation, over-fishing, irrigation, mining and pollution all contribute to the problem as well.Know More
The rate at which people consume natural resources for food, for shelter, to generate energy and to manufacture products is unsustainable. Natural resources include groundwater, forests, soil, fossil fuels and marine animals. In addition to direct consumption, the effects of pollution and climate change endanger resources. For example, the glaciers that feed several major rivers are melting; this could lead to drought in the future.
Overpopulation not only increases food consumption but also escalates the need for shelter and living space. Clearing forests to create space for farms and developing urban areas leads to deforestation, and construction consumes mineral resources such as sand, gravel and crushed stone. Deforestation often leads to erosion and soil depletion, and some farming practices introduce toxins to the soil and deplete water reserves. Industries expand to meet the demands of the growing world population, consuming increasing amounts of resources.
Reusing nonbiodegradable items, such as shopping bags and glass bottles, decreases the amount of waste that goes to landfills, lowers the demand for new products and limits the consumption of raw materials. Recycling similarly conserves resources.Learn more about Natural Resources
A natural resource map shows the expanse of natural resources found on and in the surface of the Earth. Natural cover of the worlds, world map of natural vegetation and world map of minerals are examples of natural resource maps.Full Answer >
Petroleum is a non-renewable resource, because the natural petroleum deposits are finite and, once exhausted, there is no way to restore them. As of 2014, the Earth possesses several decades of petroleum resources to meet its needs.Full Answer >
Water scarcity is caused by poor management of available water resources and the depletion of fresh water resources. According to the United Nations Development Programme, poor management of water resources is one of the main causes of water scarcity. Most countries have sufficient water to meet agricultural, household and industrial needs but do not have the means to make clean usable water accessible.Full Answer >
Poor agricultural practices, deforestation and the overgrazing of livestock are some of the causes of soil nutrient depletion. These activities ultimately lead to soil erosion, waterlogging, salinization and desertification, which is when soil loses 10 percent of its productivity.Full Answer >