Planning for sustainable water quality - Essay Example

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Instructor Date Sustainable Water Quality A sustainable water infrastructure is important for providing the public with clean and safe water. The quality of water supplied to homesteads determines the environmental, economic, and social health of the community…
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Planning for sustainable water quality
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Download file to see previous pages In the past, majority of ecological and human crises originate from inadequate access to, and mismanagement of water resources. Aquatic ecosystems, land, and community goals may be destroyed in the process of harnessing water. The growing population may increase water-related problems, and the state has to plan for sustainable water projects. Sustainability guarantees access to basic amounts of water necessary for sustaining human health and to sustain the ecosystem. Sustainability of water resources provides room for renewal of these resources ensuring a constant supply of water. Environmental planning agencies have to assess water quality changes associated with land use activities. The main factors influencing water quality are vegetation, farming methods, and soil type. Rain water contains dissolved gases and minerals (150). These minerals react chemically with the soil constituents when rain water reaches the ground. Land use alters the composition and texture of the surface soil. The initial interference involved dumping of human and animal wastes into water systems. Improved farming techniques such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides interfere with water quality. Fertilizer and pesticides runoff increase the nutrient levels present in water naturally. Most of these pesticides contain harmful chemicals that cause water poisoning and chemical reactions in the water. Some of the chemicals are volatile and deposited in the air due to exposure to the atmosphere. Chemicals dissolved in water affect natural minerals in the water and they affect marine and human lives. Deforestation is popular in forests, which are also the catchment areas of rivers. Some farmers practice poor farming methods that loosen the soil structure. Activities such as overstocking and overgrazing deprive the land vegetation cover that cements soil particles together. Runoff from these areas contains sediments that are washed into water sources. Sediment loading increases the amount of soil particles and minerals in water sources. In urban areas, industries produce chemical effluent and gases that contaminate water pathways and the atmosphere (157). These gases dissolve in rain water to form acidic rainfall or increase chemical components in the water. Industrial waste washed into watersheds contains poisonous metals and chemicals that cause health complication in animals and humans. Planners must consider the effect of different land uses on the water quality. Minimizing effluent from industries and agricultural can improve the quality of water distributed to homesteads. The federal government passed the Clean Water Act that regulates discharges of pollutants into water bodies and regulates the quality standards for surface water. In this act, EPA has implemented programs to control water pollution such as setting wastewater standards for industries. According to CWA, discharging pollutants from a point source into navigable waters is unlawful unless a permit is acquired. Point sources are conveyances such as man-made ditches and pipes that carry water. The act also provides assistance to public water treatment projects that improve wastewater treatment (160). These projects convert wastewater to safe water that can be utilized by ordinary citizens. Industries cannot discharge waste water directly into public water treatments areas without prior purification. The pretreatment aims at reducing toxic wastes discharged into these treatment works. EPA has also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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