Importance of Natural Resources

Water for People and the Environment: Texas Aquatic Science- Chapter 14

What’s one natural resource that connects
all living things? If you said water, you’re right. All living things need water. The earth has
a remarkable system of transporting and recycling water for our use. And because we live on
a planet, with a finite supply of water, we must take care of it. That’s something each
and every one of us can do, no matter our age or where we live. The word conservation means “wise use.” Conserving
our water supply means taking care of water quality and water quantity. People do this
by individual action, and through laws in our communities, in the state and nationally. For example, you turn the water off when you
brush your teeth. Your community may decide when lawns may be watered or use tax dollars
to fix leaky city water lines. Nationally, the Clean Water Act passed by Congress in
1972 makes it unlawful to introduce pollution to most major US waters without obtaining
a permit. On the state level, Texas has a complex system
of water rules, and much of it comes down to deciding — “Who owns the water?” In general, the state allocates permits for
use of surface water. But groundwater belongs to the landowner directly above the aquifer.
And how much water flows downstream is decided upstream. As you can imagine, water rights
can be a contentious issue, especially during times of drought when water becomes scarce
but is needed by everyone. As our population and the demand for water
continue to grow, we face even tougher decisions on how to balance the water needs of people
and the environment. Water is our state’s most precious natural
resource. Future generations of Texans are relying on us. What will you do to conserve
water for the future?

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