Essay on Human Development And Economic Growth

1605 Words May 28th, 2015 null Page
As urban sprawl continues, paved streets and uniform rooftops expand relentlessly onward, covering the land with impervious surfaces. “Impervious surfaces are mainly constructed surfaces--rooftops, sidewalks, roads, and parking lots--covered by impenetrable materials such as asphalt, concrete, and stone” (Barnes, Morgan, and Roberge 3). Every new roofed structure, every new sidewalk, and every new road adds a new water blockade. This seal of man made material slowly covering the earth prevents water from infiltrating into the soil and replenishing supplies of ground water. Impervious surfaces also negatively effecting stream flow and overland flow (Strahler 486). We build cities in order to promote human development and economic growth, and to center ourselves around resources. However, as these urban centers grow, we deplete these resources, like groundwater, in order to support growing population and industry. Not only are we overusing groundwater resources, we are also making it impossible for them to recharge. The construction of buildings and roads blocks precipitation infiltration and prevents aquifers from replenishing. Therefore, by building cities in the way that we do, we are not only depleting water resources but also preventing them from regenerating. Beyond preventing groundwater infiltration, increased storm water runoff as a result of urbanization leads to negative effects such as flash floods. Because urban runoff is high in pollutants like…

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