Natural resources are the materials that occur naturally on Earth, such as air, water, soil, minerals, forests, and wildlife. Over the last century, humans have begun to use natural resources more quickly and intensively than ever before. This has had major impacts on the environment and on human health, and has led to shortages of certain natural resources.
In Michigan, one vivid example of this is the rapid depletion of groundwater resources. Every day, groundwater across Michigan is tapped for home, business and agricultural use, and it is not recharging at the same rate due to changing land use and agricultural water demand. As a result, water levels are declining in some areas, leading to shortages of drinking water, increased pumping costs and disruption of aquatic habitats. This has significantly disrupted the lives of many Michigan residents, as they are now required to cut back on their water use and pay significantly more for water than before.
Another vivid example of the changes in natural resource use in Michigan is the increasing development of wilderness areas. This can include logging, mining and fracking, which can all cause profound environmental changes, such as soil erosion, habitat destruction, and even air pollution. The people of Michigan can feel the effects of this increased exploitation of natural resources firsthand, as air and water pollution have caused health issues, such as respiratory problems and contaminated drinking water, in many locations across the state.
These examples clearly show that changes in natural resource use can have dramatic impacts on humans in Michigan. It is up to the citizens of Michigan and their elected officials to work together in order to reduce negative consequences, and ensure that natural resources are used sustainably for the benefit of all.