Discussion: How Can Freshwater Be Such A Problem on the “Water Planet?”
Water defines planet earth. No other single substance is so important and so taken for granted by most Americans. This week, we get to explore this fascinating substance. In preparing to respond to this week’s Forum Discussion, read through chapter (11 and 14) for the assigned readings, and watch the video clips.
Water is a global problem, and Brown (2008) provides an excellent summary of the problem in his book. The book is available online at the following website. Do take the time to Read Chapter 4, Emerging Water Shortages, to get a good idea just how widespread this problem has become: http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/book_files/pb3book.pdf (It’s 14 pages starting on page 68.)
Brown gives an overview of some of the World’s water problems. Here in the arid West, we have an old saying, “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting!” I suspect that no matter where you live, you can identify a water issue. For the first discussion item, do the following:
• Describe a water issue where you live. This could be a water quality or quantity issue, or both. Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
• Do you have a solution? If so, describe how you would solve the problem.
One lesson you should take from this class is that all things are connected. The choices we make influence our local environment and may have global consequences. What do you currently do or what could you do to conserve water quantity or quality? Don’t limit your water conservation thinking to simply putting a brick in the toilet. In addition to the changes you can make in your home or your landscaping, consider the water use consequence of the food and merchandise you buy or what goes down the drain.
• In a paragraph or two, describe actions you have taken or intend to take to save water, or organizations you support that are making a difference. If you find any interesting websites, shares those with the class.
Write at least 200 words.
Here are some websites you may find interesting: Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone: http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/deadzone/index.html
Nutrient Pollution: http://epa.gov/nutrientpollution/index.html
Brown, L.R. (2008). Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. New York: W.W. Norton
Discussion — Solutions to Solid and Hazardous Waste Problem
In this discussion topic, I would like to know what your views are on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Let us all know how you either store, recycle, or dispose of paints, solvents, and electronic waste including computers, cell phones, compact fluorescent lights, and batteries. Should the stores that sell these items make more of an effort to facilitate the recycling of these items?
Check with your local government to see what recycling programs they sponsor, and possibly visit your local hardware store to see if they accept items such as used light bulbs and batteries.
Wetlands are one of the most important and least appreciated features of the landscape. Read through the wetland information on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website (http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/functions.cfm) or go directly to the information on Wetland Functions and Values.
There are lots of different types of wetlands. This website gives a pretty complete list. Click on each wetland type for a brief description of each one.
Forum Discussion: Visit a local wetland
After you have completed reading the wetland functions and values information, I would like for you to go visit a local wetland. Wander around the wetland and spend some time observing any wildlife that might be present. Perhaps you just want to sit for a while and observe the wetland and how it fits into the surrounding watershed? Think about the following questions.
• What type of wetland do you think it is? Cattail marsh, Wet meadow, Fen Describe the wetland you visited.
• What types of wildlife might use the wetland you visited? What wildlife did your observe?
• Does it serve any flood control or water quality functions?
• Does it have any aesthetic value?
• Are there any interesting plants? (Have you ever taken the mature seed head of a cattail and squeezed it in our hand? Try it, but not in your car or house.)
Then I would like for you write down your observations in a paragraph or two and post them.
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