The Virginia’s population is growing geometrically. The first million of people was reached by 1830. In eighty years time, another million was reached. Another million was added in 35 years and it took only 15 years to have four million. After this year, population growth becomes more evident. In 1990, population becomes 6.1M and by this time, Virginia has a population of 7,642,884(“Martin”).This population includes natural increase which is the birth minus death and the migration to the count.
Figure 1. Causes and Impacts of high population growth in developing countries
The figure above illustrates the causes of high population growth and its impact on mankind. Population growth in Virginia significantly affects many things-the quality of life composing of the infrastructure and education, massive cities, shortage of water and food and the impact on the environment. In the quality of life, consider the infrastructure support (“Campbell”).
High population means high building, roads, and school maintenance. Virginia has many school districts that do not have sufficient number of teachers and thus if more students are added without adding more teachers, status of education in Virginia would be worsened(“Pimentel”).Tuition fee rates would be overpriced just to avail a quality education and thus; this might not be reach by many Virginia families.
Increased of population growth would also mean a traffic problem. Transportation difficulties would be increased considering that by now it was estimated that there are five million licensed drivers traveling about 66,000 mile of roads.
More than 99 per cent of the world’s food supply comes from the land, while less than 1 per cent is from oceans and other aquatic habitats (“Pimentel”).Continuous production of food supply is dependent on biodiversity, water, energy and fertile lands. These resources grow as population increases. Though these are not depleted, still they will decline because of this need to be divided among people. The fertile croplands nowadays has been disregarded because of soil erosion happening. Eroded agricultural lands are now being replaced by marginal and forestlands.
Water resources are also another problem. There would be a competition on water resources among individuals depending on their activities. During the past 20 years, water crisis was reflected in the decline in irrigation purpose. Populous city like Virginia is under stress since more water is withdrawn from lakes, rivers and aquifer. The challenge we must face now is the need to maintain in the future the continuing draft of surface and groundwater resources.
When a country becomes industrialized, an increased level of water, noise and air pollution and soil contamination becomes evident. Climate change is also evident. There is atmospheric composition and subsequent global warming. There is also a loss of environment and deforestation therefore balanced atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide is not sustained. Mass species extinction due to slash and burn practice is also apparent.
Increased in mortality rates of infants and child due to poverty would be another problem. Also, with a massive population there is a greater chance of the birth of epidemics and pandemics. This is because of teeming living conditions, poor healthcare and diet, starvation and malnutrition.
Other scenarios could possibly be experienced. Unhealthy living condition because of problems being encountered in water depletion, discharge of raw sewage and solid waste disposal are being encountered.
If worst comes to worst, crime rate because of drug addicts and people stealing just to survive is elevated. Conflict because of the scarcity of resources is also projected. These were just among the most likely problem to be encountered if still Virginia would rapidly grow.
All these manifestation would have an impact in my life especially if the population cannot be stopped form its rapid growing.
In order to overcome all these challenges, immediate actions must be undertaken. Improved technologies could highly assist in efficient management and utilization of materials. Fertilizers are responsible for the fertility of eroded soils but then, man cannot make topsoil. Fertilizers are used as substitute to the eroded top soil.
The supplies of water must be available not only for agriculture but also for industry and public use. Water is being withdrawn thru rivers. There is problem in the availability of technologies in order to double the flow of the river. Water conservation would be of great help in this case. In the same way, the decrease in ground water resources being stored in aquifers cannot be replenished by man technology. Rainfall is the mere supplier to recharge the water. (“Giampietro”)
Maintaining the integrity of biodiversity greatly contributes in having a fruitful and sustainable agricultural system. No human technology could substitute the service endow with by various species.
In the future, the most basic thing to be done must be conservation and good management of land, water, energy and other resources Basic needs of people and resources that would sustain individual’s life must be balanced. In order to achieve agricultural productivity, proficient and environment friendly agricultural technologies must be established.
Growth rate must be moderated by some ways. If we wanted that growth will end then, fertility must be reduced. All Virginians therefore must be oriented about the problems of high fertility and population growth. In a way, these issues must be discussed in schools. Fertility rates could possibly decreased by appropriate education and ensuring the availability of contraceptives.
Another step would be to solve the migration. Even if the fertility is highly controlled if the migration is not within control then it is useless. There is a dual problem encountered here, that is to reduce both the domestic and international migration. Illegal immigration is the tremendous problem in Virginia. Virginia ranks ninth in the illegal immigration. Federal legislation has been introduced in order to limit the illegal migration. If this would be implemented then, there is a vast chance of reducing illegal migration.
The battle to population growth will only last if there is a smart growth. In the end, we must not forget to ask ourselves what is the cause of all these things. It is population growth. And so, as a response to this, still the easiest as mentioned beforehand, population control is still the key of resolving it.
The greatest challenge therefore is how to find ways of finding political leaders to address the problem on population growth. Virginians must then ask themselves if what kind future they want to transmit to their children and grandchildren. The answer lies within the hands of Virginians living today.
Campbell, P. “Population Projections for States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2025, Population Projections”, 1996.
Giampietro, M. “The Tightening Conflict: Population, Energy Use, and the Ecology of Agriculture” Teaneck, NJ: Negative Population Growth, Inc.,1993.
Martin, J. H. “Virginia Population Estimates, a Spotlight on Virginia”, 1999.
Pimentel, D. “Environmental and economic costs of soil erosion and conservation benefits. 1995.
Pimentel, D. “Natural resources and an optimum human Population: Population and Environment 15”, 1994.