Water Use and Pollution

Water Resources, Water Pollution, and Agriculture
Course Text: Environmental Science
•    Chapter 10, “Food, Soil, and Pest Management”
This chapter addresses the environmental issues associated with food production. It includes information on food safety, production limits, and protecting crops from pests.
•    Chapter 11, “Water and Water Pollution”
In this chapter, you will explore ideas on using water more sustainably and increasing the water supply.

•    H2O Conserve
This site allows you to calculate your “water footprint.”
•    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2010). Water: Science and technology. Retrieved from http://water.epa.gov/scitech/
General, reliable information on water is available at this EPA site.
•    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2010). Water: Pollution control. Retrieved from http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/
This site is a source of information on water quality by state.
•    Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. (2010). IATP food and health. Retrieved fromhttp://www.iatp.org/foodandhealth/
This site provides information regarding domestic and international policy making.
•    U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Natural resources conservation service. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nrcs.usda.gov/
This site provides information on conserving soil, water, and other natural resources.
•    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2010). Hunger. Retrieved fromhttp://www.fao.org/hunger/en/
Check out the Hunger Map to see how various countries are faring in the fight against hunger.

Web Resources
•    International Rivers
This site has information on human rights and environmental protection.
•    Natural Resources Defense Council. (n.d.). Issues: Water. Retrieved January 11, 2010 fromhttp://www.nrdc.org/water/default.asp
This site presents information on issues related to water consumption and pollution.
•    Union of Concerned Scientists. (2009). Food & agriculture. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/
This site examines sustainable agriculture practices.
•    U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d). How to delineate a watershed. Retrieved January 20, 2010 from
This site details how to locate and connect all of the high points of a watershed on a topographical map.
•    U.S. Department of the Interior Department of Reclamation. (2010). Reclamation: Managing water in the west. Retrieved from http://www.usbr.gov/
This site is maintained by the U.S. Bureau of (Land) Reclamation and has information related to water issues.

Please proceed to the Discussion.

Water Resources, Water Pollution, and Agriculture
Discussion 6: Water Use and Pollution
Water is essential to life and is one of the most versatile natural resources that humans use on a daily basis. You drink it, shower with it, brush your teeth with it, and use it in cleaning, cooking, watering plants, and keeping your lawn green, among other uses. Have you ever thought about how much water you use each day, each month, each year? Have you considered how your lifestyle may create water pollution? Even with daily access to clean water, developed nations still face water pollution problems brought on by lifestyle choices that wash chemicals and other wastes into the water supply. Natural resource departments and water plant managers must evaluate the impact of water consumption and pollution on the environment and people, find solutions to clean the water, and sometimes mandate water conservation for residents. In this Discussion, you will analyze your own water consumption and evaluate the impact you may have on water pollution.
Questions about this assignment? Post them in the Ask the Instructor area under Course Home. That way, everyone in the class will see and benefit from the Instructor’s response.
To prepare for this Discussion:
•    Review Chapter 11 in the course text, Environmental Science.
•    Use the water usage calculator at the H2O Conserve website to determine your “water footprint.”
•    Read about water science and water quality at the EPA websites.
•    Consider the ways you may contribute to water pollution, such as the household soaps and chemicals that wash down your drain, the chemicals you use to wash your car, the fumes from your car that enter the atmosphere and return as acid rain, and the fluids that may leak from your vehicle.
•    Reflect on the environmental impact on natural ecosystems when water supplies become polluted.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 3, 1–2 paragraphs in which you examine the relationship between uses and availability of water and analyze the harm caused by water pollution. Your post should include the following:
•    The estimate you calculated using the Water Usage Calculator and which of your activities uses the most water
•    Three ways in which you can reduce your water consumption and how your conservation will impact the environment
•    A description of how pollution enters the water supply
•    Three things you could do to reduce water pollution and how feasible it would be to incorporate these ideas into your life immediately
•    Ask a probing question.
•    Offer and support an opinion.
•    Validate an idea with your own experience.
•    Make a suggestion.

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