Water resources management for human consumption: the integrated water cycle

Marco Dettori

Water is a fundamental resource for all living species, hence a precious asset that needs to be preserved and managed in a long-term sustainable manner. The quality of water
– drinking-water as well as water used for agriculture, zootechnics and industrial use needs to be analysed and closely monitored.
The shortage of this good is a limiting factor. The demand for fresh water increases along with the continuous growth of the world population, and most likely the shortage will continue to increase. In addition to the fact that water is scarce, the water that we actually do have access to, is generally of poor quality.
The hydric resources, hence, plays a crucial role for the equilibrium of human health. On the one hand, it is a
vital source for health, and for the defence of the human organism, but on the other hand, with the declining quality of water it makes up a potential threat to human health.

The lesson aims to provide students with an understanding of the non-virtuous dynamics leading to the declining quality of water and to suggest tools for selecting preventive strategies for protection and promotion of water, and hence of public health .