Society relies on many resources to conduct routine activities. Without the most critical resources in ample supply, the public’s way of life can be severely hampered. Water, electricity, and fuel are among the most critical resources and occasionally may be subject to supply issues.
While most of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, a mere 3% of that water is freshwater. More than 68% of this freshwater is found in glaciers and ice caps, while only .3% is found in rivers, lakes, etc. Fresh, potable water is in very limited supply, estimated to be only .08% of the Earth’s water. In the case of a water shortage, rationing or elimination of nonessential activities or events could become viable options to limit unnecessary consumption of water during times of concern.
Fuel, or petroleum, is also a limited resource that is used globally for many different purposes. Petroleum alone makes up about 40% of the total energy consumption in the United States. When there are shortages of this valuable commodity, the activities and commerce of impacted areas could be significantly slowed. Decisions must be made to sustain critical operations, such as first response capabilities. Rationing or the elimination of nonessential activities or events could become viable options to limit unnecessary consumption of fuel during times of concern.