A systems engineering approach must be applied to solving the sustainability issues dealing with the world's water, food, and energy demands (see Fig. 8.1). The earth must be looked at as a total system, which integrates these resources through physical, biological, and social networks, which are constantly in flux. The other key component is the economic factor, which unfortunately favors the rich and punishes the poor when it comes to distribution of adequate safe water, food, and energy resources. The public health issues and toxicological effects become critical when water resources are impacted by environmental and/or anthropogenic activities.
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