Need for Water
Our need for water is constantly increasing. There is an automatic increase due to population growth, while the overall improvement of living standards, the fight against hunger through the irrigation of more land for food growing, and the creation and expansion of new industries, all foretell the need for even greater water supplies throughout the world. Though it is difficult to calculate the exact amount, it is safe to say that in 20 years’ time the demand for water will be roughly double. Faced with such a situation it is obvious that we should search as widely as possible and with every available means for sources of fresh water that seem to be the least costly. But where do these sources exist? Only .a sustained and co-ordinate programme of scientific observation and research in hydrology will give us the answer. This is the purpose of the International Hydrological Decade, 1965-1975.
Underground water reserves are much larger than those on the surface, but as they are unseen we tend to underestimate them. It is vitally important that we make use of these underground reserves, but never haphazardly. For example, where does the water come from which we find in one or another of the underground water-bearing layers (“aquifers”)? How does it move? How is it renewed? And if this water is used, what effect will it have on the discharge and future level of the water table? What are the laws of hydrogeology? Despite the immense progress of recent years, all these questions have still not been fully answered.