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Freshwater Systems: Home

About any ecological system related to freshwater: lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, groundwater, etc.

2014 Historic Drought in Western United States

At this time, the western United States is facing a historic drought which is impacting aquifers and waterways.

National Drought Mitigation Center

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NPR: Drought Stories

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Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)

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National Geographic News: Environment

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SFS Benthos News

Society for Freshwater Science

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Water Resources Research

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ACS Publications: Water

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Importance of Water

Water serves many purposes for humans and for the environment. Some of these purposes conflict with each other.

Some water needs to remain in the environment to maintain ecosystem health. Animals and plants in and around the river need water for health; therefore, the water must be kept of sufficient quality and cleaniliness. Enough water must remain in and on the ground to maintain the moisture levels of the soil and the depths of rivers, lakes, and streams. Water is used for recreation, such as boating, swimming, and waterskiing. Water is used for transportation. Barges float on water to carry heavy cargo and the water must be of sufficient depth to allow this. Barges may shed pollutants in the process. Water is used for energy for powerplants and sufficient water must be present to flow and generate power.

Some water is removed from the environment. Humans use water for drinking, washing, cleaning, cooking, and growing food. Rivers and lakes are used as reservoirs for urban and rural societies. Rural areas more often use wells to extract groundwater for houses and towns. Water is used to hydrate livestock, irrigate crops and other environments. Water is used to irrigate desert areas. Drainage from some lands carries fertilizer, salt, and pollutants back into the waterways. Water is used for heating and cooling. It is used in the manufacturing of many products.

To maintain an appropriate and sustainable balance, natural water systems must be monitored and studied.

United Nations Millennium Declaration

In 2000, world leaders met at the United Nations Headquarters to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to reduce extreme poverty and set out the Millennium Development Goals with a deadline of 2015.

Among the goals and resolutions, they recognized and resolved

19. We resolve further:

• To halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world’s people whose income is less than one dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and, by the same date, to halve the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water.

23. We resolve therefore to adopt in all our environmental actions a new ethic of conservation and stewardship and, as first steps, we resolve:

• To stop the unsustainable exploitation of water resources by developing water management strategies at the regional, national and local levels, which promote both equitable access and adequate supplies.

Take note that these goals focus on the use of water by humans, although they do not discount the importance of water to the environment itself.

BioOne: Freshwater Science: Table of Contents

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Freshwater Biology journal

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Marine and Freshwater Research

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Journal of the American Water Resources Association

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Water and Environment Journal

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Subject Guide

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Shelley Arvin
Contact me for help. I will work with you to find the way to best help you. Options will consider appropriate agreeable and safe communication and location solutions for you. Email is a good way to contact me.

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