Resource depletion means the consumption of natural resources faster than it can be replenish. Resources are generally referred to those things which are used to produce further products or used as a mean of production and growth. Natural Resources can be divided into two categories.
1. Renewable resources
Renewable resources are those resources which can be replaced naturally for further use. Examples of renewable resources are Oxygen, Fresh water, solar energy, biomass, wood, timber etc.
2. Nonrenewable Resources
Nonrenewable resources are those natural resources which cannot be replaced naturally. These nonrenewable resources include fossil fuels, oil, gas, and coal.
Currently the earth population is 7.2 billion and scientists have calculated that the resources which we have are only good for 2 billion people. This clearly shows that we consuming more than what is available. It means that we are running out of Natural Resources. Now what will be its consequences which will be faced by humans in few decades?
Water – Life without water is Impossible. Life depends on water; without water there will be no life. Depletion of water is more alarming than anything else. Because there are substitute for anything but for water there is none. 70% of the fresh water is used in agriculture, 20% are used in Industry and Only 10% are used by human. Causes of the depletion of water include increase in agriculture use of water, increased irrigation, and off course rising temperature. After a few decades we are going to see its consequences. Shortage of drinking water, drought, and shortage of food. Water depletion is also very threatening for the aquatic animals such as fishes. In recent times excessive fishing also possess threat to the aquatic life.
Oil – As we all know today’s global world and industrial era nothing can be possible without oil, in other words oil is the determinant of powerful Economy. Everything we manufacture, every vehicle used is not possible without petroleum. Oil depletion is something which requires high attention. Because Oil is a nonrenewable natural resource. Efforts are there in order to develop cheaper and sustainable energy resource that can replace the oil resource.
Forests – One cannot imagine world without trees. Forests are as much necessary as water to life. Plants produces oxygen which is very essential to life and consumes carbon dioxide hence making the environment cleans. Forests are very much necessary for the clean environment according to scientific study every country must have about 25% of its land covered by forest. But constant deforestation is contributing factor to global warming and many diseases which is caused by carbon dioxide and many such gases. An estimated 18 million of forests are destroyed each year. Forest is also homeland of many species.
Minerals – Every days thousands tons of minerals are extracted through mining which includes copper, aluminum, zinc, lead etc. It has been said that if we continue to mine with this rate we will eventually exhaust the available supply of minerals. There must be some limits on the extraction of these minerals, for the purpose to ensure the availability of these vital minerals.