I entered the environmental field because I recognize the importance of conserving the resources that have sustained my family and the members of my tribe, both culturally and economically, for many generations. As the oldest of five children, I feel that it is my obligation to not only demonstrate the importance of an education, but also teach my younger siblings the tribal traditions of Santa Clara Pueblo. Remaining at UNM for graduate studies has allowed me to focus on local environmental issues that involve different aspects of hydrology, and has also provided me with the ability to address widespread issues pertaining to climate change and water quality.
It is because of the forethought of others that I am able to experience Hawaii’s natural magnificence. I want my children – and their children, for generations to come – to be able to say the same. It is for this reason that I believe we must utilize a twofold sustainable ideal in which we protect the environment while also growing economic prosperity. We must strike a balance between revering nature and supporting human quality of life.
Hawaii is facing a crisis. This is not one of wars, disease or famine; the issue is water. Located thousands of miles away from the other continents, many resources in Hawaii are scarce. As a result, Hawaii’s water supply is suffering because of the an ever changing climate, which results in stress on our valuable water.
California recently implemented its new public policy of mandatory water conservation for lawns, hotels, and restaurants. This policy was passed because of the environmental conditions that are harming the state. This coincides with stage 1 of the policy cycle stage, agenda setting. In this stage, the problem is highlighted to the general public: California’s scarcity of water supply. California has experienced a water drought for four years, and water levels are reaching a critical low. “The past three years have been the driest three years in California history dating back to the Gold Rush. On Tuesday, the Sierra snowpack was at 13 percent of its historic average, and many of the state’s largest reservoirs were far below normal” (Rogers).
Over several generations, the people living in Hawaii have negatively altered our islands, which has resulted in an unsustainable environment. Most people living in Hawaii are not practicing sustainability. The things they have are taken for granted, and they usually don’t think twice before acting in ways that will harm the environment, such as littering, wasting food, and hiking off trails. They do not understand that they are disrespecting the ecosystem with such actions. All of these factors determine whether or not Hawaii is a sustainable island.
The Earth is a huge planet this is covered by 70 percent water. Astonishingly from this 70 percent the human population can only use 1 percent of the world’s water the rest of it is salt water, frozen, or in some way unattainable (Santa Clara Valley Water District, 2016). Humans have found many different ways to obtain this 1 percent of fresh water they need, but the techniques vary depending on location. In San Jose, California we obtain our water from 3 major sources: groundwater, imported surface water, and local mountain surface water. These 3 sources contribute different amounts of water to the San Jose community. Imported surface water composes about 50 percent of our water supply, while ground water composes roughly 40 percent, and local mountain surface water composes approximately 10 percent (Santa Jose Water Company, 2016). However, these percentages can change due to factors such as weather and global warming.
For this paper water structures and infrastructures were selected as focus points because the longer we wait to fix issues with them, the more expensive it will get, in other words, we are in a race against time. Studying the past it is easy to see how water availability made population explode in an area such as Southern California, where savvy marketing and great politics made it happen. Particularly, for Los Angeles and for the purposes of public narrative, Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert does a great job at understanding and identifying the politics and key figures in getting water to Los Angeles. Great hydrologic structures were created using both manpower and water politics. It is important to state that there are connections between water, politics, environment, and geography when analyzing what the biggest problems involving water structures and infrastructures (Reisner.) We must think of water as both a socio-political issue and a natural resource, whose fate is molded by the understanding of its connectivity to itself, man-made structures, geography, environment, and society. The classes taken in this program have taught us ideals that in order to become a great water resource manager, one must master the political and scientific knowledge to make decisions that are prosperous for society and the environment. Furthermore, one must know the United States’ hydrological history in order to gain manipulation upon the system that makes it both thrive and deteriorate.
Arizona has an incredibly large dependence on the Colorado River and groundwater. In fact, 39% of all water usage in Arizona is comprised of Colorado River water. Any dependence of that scale on any resource that originates in another area is always a major risk, as any major disaster or drastic change to the source of the river can cripple the state’s water supply. Furthermore, while Arizona does house the majority of the Lower Basin of the Colorado, the Colorado’s Upper Basin is shared between 4 other states, all with their own water needs and all with a susceptibility to drought. On the other hand, another 40% of all water Arizona uses is from groundwater sources. However, the Colorado River and these groundwater sources in the Colorado River basins have lost over 65 cubic kilometers of water over the last 9 years, with nearly 2/3 of it from groundwater loss due to over-pumping. This is because
Texas, with its abundances of natural resources, is facing a new demon, one that doesn’t even seem possible, a shortage of water. Water, without it nothing can survive. Texas is the second largest state for landmass in the nation and ninth for water square miles. Within the borders of Texas are more than 100 lakes, 14 major rivers, and 23 aquifers, so why has water become such an important issue for the state? Politicians and conservationists all agree that without a new working water plan, the state could be facing one of the most damaging environmental disasters they have ever seen. The issues that shape the states positions are population growth, current drought conditions, and who actually owns the water.
When referring to Arizona’s water Kris Mayes, chairwoman of the state’s utility regulatory panel once said, “How do you say just how valuable water is in an arid state like Arizona?” she said. “It’s like the credit-card commercial-it’s priceless” (McKinnon). She was right, because in a dry state like Arizona, water is pretty important. To say water is ‘pretty important’ for the world is an understatement. We use water to function. And when we think of water we think of saving it. Keep the faucets from dripping or turn off the water while brushing your teeth. There are numerous tips for water conservation, but people don’t often think of the damage that is already done. Damages like ‘dead zones’. Dead zones in the ocean have been around for
Yet, humans have limited control on natural events, so this only reinforces the importance of managing water wisely. Recently California’s government has begun to focus more on sustaining and restoring the water supply. Dale Kasler (2016) articulates in his article some of the steps they have decided to make to solve this serious issue. The government has made the following investments: “$415 million for watershed restoration and other environmental aid for Lake Tahoe; up to $335 million for two proposed reservoirs in California, including the Sites reservoir north of Sacramento; $880 million for flood-control projects on the American and Sacramento rivers in Sacramento; and $780 million for flood-control projects in West Sacramento” (para. 10). This could be the first step to restoring the water to California. But these
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is part of the largest statuary on the West Coast of the United States. The Delta covers over 738,000 acres and is home to over 50 species of fish and almost 300 different kinds of mammal, reptile, and bird species (Lund, et al.) Moreover, the Delta is the largest source of water supply for the entire state, channeling water from Northern California to millions of acres of farmland in the Central Valley and to over 20 million residents in California (Holyoke). In its vicinity, the Delta supports agricultural, fishing, and recreational activities. In other words, the Delta is the jugular of California’s water system and the states’ entire economy and wellbeing is attached to it. With so much riding on the Delta, humans have re-engineer its natural fluvial shape to rip off benefits without thinking of future consequences.
On March 27, 2014, Wade Graham of the San Francisco Chronicle reported “The Water Revolution California needs.” California is having a severe drought. Wade Graham tells his readers that California is in a serious water crisis. The state of California needs to make strict changes to how water is being distributed amongst farmers and residents. Before all of California’s ecological system is destroyed. Wade Graham believes that water should be priced higher; that way people aren’t wasting water. Water is a limited resource that should never be wasted, and is probably California’s most valuable resource. Unfortunately, many people waste water; instead of conserve water especially when we live in the state of California where we are subject to
Thesis statement (central idea): Access and availability to fresh water are essential to the survival of the human race. Fresh water is a finite source and once it is gone, we have limited options to replenish it, so we must take action to conserve the fresh water we do have especially at home in the United States.
When the competition for a vital resource is between residents and crops, human health and wellbeing takes precedence as a matter of policy. When this competition is between one group of residents and another group of residents, the only solution is to spread the resource even thinner often leading to inequities among citizens of differing financial or political influence. Decision-makers should have a zero tolerance agenda concerning any threat to our groundwater resources. This paper proposes that future growth needs to take into account our dependence on surface and subsurface water resources when planning developments and incorporating water resource studies into legislation meant to guide further development in New Jersey. The impact on citizens affected by new construction may not be felt until a crisis occurs and then it will be too late. With the remaining southwestern agricultural counties ripe for development it's never too late to change our vision of the landscape and refuse to gamble with the future needs of our citizens.