Ground Water is Not the Solution
by ZZ Troutski
The supply of ground water is a necessity. And when it comes to headlines being made surrounding ground water, or lack therefore, in the rivers of the western half of this nation, this necessity seems to have been forgotten about.
Trout Unlimited is an extremely supportive and hard-working organization that has done studies dealing with the Western Water Project, and they are bringing to light major problems.
Many people worry about watersheds. They do. They worry about their commercial dwellings and improving the value of their property by creating healthy watersheds and establishing scenic views. But what some cease to remember is that a healthy river is about a combination of water sources.
Ground and surface water are connected to each other; thus, pumping ground water can adversely affect river flows. In a vast area of the west (too much of a vast area, to be precise), new water users start using ground water because river flows are insufficient. They are seeing ground water as a new source to solve their ever-expanding water needs. But being that ground and surface waters are not separate, and do rise and fall together, the rivers are feeling the weight of it.
Everyone from citizens to legislators to industry must come together in order to address this issue. Ground water pumping harms surface ecology, and the current management of ground water in a dozen western states has fallen apart.
It is a fact that when more people ‘settle in,’ more water providers that wish to aid the newbies on the block, so to speak, tap ground water to help supply new cities and developments. Municipal demands rise high, but many town and city governments have stated that the use of ground water is a win-win proposition.
What Trout Unlimited, among others, is attempting to bring forward is the fact that this is unsustainable use of ground water, and new regulatory programs and management strategies are needed to fix this problem.
For conservationists, communities, governments, and traditional water users (as well as the plants and wildlife, vegetation, and habitats), this situation is critical. Sustainable water supplies must be found by using common sense, voting on water reforms, taking extra conservation measures, and a list of other strategies that will allow the west to thrive while protecting all the rivers, streams, fish, and wildlife. With these protected, then the things humans depend on will stay alive and well.
The goals and works of Trout Unlimited is long. Making sure to keep focus on ground restoration of streams, watersheds and fisheries, they have actively been implementing restoration projects within their own home watersheds. Solutions have been found using everything from installing habitat improvement structures to fencing out cattle to replanting stream banks and educating children about aquatic conservation.
On-the-ground conservation efforts are definitely out there in full force, with many large-scale watershed projects in the works. Through collaboration, the scientific and economic communities have come together with citizens to establish and promote on-the-ground restoration. They have management strategies and tools in place that are greatly necessary around the globe, let alone in the west.
Negative factors to our water can come from almost anything; acid mine drainage, native species restoration, irrigation efficiency, and abandoned hard rock mine remediation. So the work never ends when it comes to making sure that our water is healthy.
Restore rivers and fisheries across the country. Learn all about the organizations out there that are trying their absolute best to make sure that native aquatic species and their habitats live strong!
Source: Sportsmans Life / Baret News Wire