Water resources refer to any useful material (living or non-living) inside water which are of benefit to man, animals and plants. Water resources are some of the most important environmental resources of man.

Sources of water: Sources of water include oceans, rivers, lakes, rain, springs, reservoirs, wells and boreholes.


Importance of Water Resources to Man

  1. Sources of food supply: Fishing in oceans, lakes and rivers are known to provide food for man in form of fish, prawns, crayfish, crab, etc.
  2. Generation of Hydro-Electric Power (H.E.P): Many rivers are dammed in areas of waterfalls and rapids for the purpose of generating electricity e.g. Kainji and Shiroro dams.
  3. Agricultural purposes: Water from rivers, lakes, wells, boreholes, etc are used for irrigation purposes, especially in areas of low rainfall, to aid crop cultivation.
  4. Medium of transportation: Rivers e.g. Rivers Benue and Niger, lakes and oceans provide a useful medium by which people and goods are transported from one place to another.
  5. Domestic use: Water from lakes,rain, rivers, boreholes are used for cooking, washing, bathing and drinking.
  6. Industrial use: Water from rivers, lakes, boreholes is used by textile, brewery and chemical industries for production.
  7. Provision of employment: Oceans, lakes and rivers also provide people with jobs e.g. fishermen, canoe and ship builders.
  8. Recreation /Tourism: Water in lakes, oceans and rivers is used by people for sports e.g. swimming, diving for relaxation and tourism e.g. Bar Beach and Lekki Beach.
  9. Sources of minerals: Water from seas and oceans is a major source of domestic and industrial salts. Petroleum is also associated with the oceans.
  10. Source of ornaments: The oceans provide valuable ornaments like corals and beads.


Problems of Degradation of Water Resources

  1. Destruction of aquatic life.
  2. Water poisoning.
  3. Inadequate fresh and pure water for domestic purpose.
  4. Inadequate fresh and pure water for industrial use.
  5. Unemployment among fishermen.
  6. Scarcity of sea foods.
  7. High cost of water treatment.