Watersheds are the areas of the Earth's surface that drains downhill to surface water bodies large or small, watersheds have discrete boundaries established by mountains, hills and valleys, and include all lakes, rivers, wetlands, streams, and other surrounding landscape. Watersheds often cross national, state and local borders, watersheds transcend as many political, social and economic boundaries as they do ecological boundaries. In recent years, significant progress has been made in achieving cleaner and healthier watersheds that support both aquatic life and many human uses. I will be discussing what State and Federal Departments are doing to rectify these problems. I also will be discussing the progress of watershed management and the effects they have on water quality and are own lives.
Agriculture is very important in watershed planning activities, often holding keys to solutions as well his many of the problems associated with nonpoint source environmental impacts: soil erosion, increased sediment and nutrient loading, riparian vegetation removal, pesticide loadings, and stream channelization.
It is easy to forget that are drinking water doesn't just come from a faucet or a bottle. Our drinking water source includes streams, rivers, lakes, or groundwater wells that tap into underground aquifers. Most of our drinking water from these sources is treated before it's poured into our glasses to remove natural and man-made contaminants. However, treatment can be expensive, and some contaminants are not easily removed. The cost of the treatment can be reduced or avoided by insuring that the source of the drinking water are safe from contaminants.
The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments placed a new focus on source water protection by requiring States to implement source water assessment and protection programs to assess areas serving as a source of drinking water. The amendments also authorized funding sources and technical support for Local State agents to engage in voluntary source water protection programs. The protection of groundwater is very important because it serves as a source of drinking water for 95 percent of the population in rural areas and approximately half of the nation's population.
A joint effort by the Department of Pesticides Regulation (DPR) and the State Water Resource Control Board (State Board), it describes how DPR and the country agricultural commissioner are working together with the State Board and the regional boards to protect water from the use of pesticides. DPR and the State Board have adopted a four-stage approach to minimize the potential for pesticide movement to surface and groundwaters.
. Stage 1: educational out reach.
. Stage 2: Self-regarding or cooperative efforts are used
to identify and implement the most appropriate
site-specific, reduced-risk practices. This