The water we drink, the places we swim, and the plants and animals within our environment are increasingly threatened by one thing–pollution. Agricultural practices, household uses, urban runoff, and other sources significantly impact our communities and the world. The ways we use water, the pollutants found in it, and the issues that challenge its quality must be understood if we are to protect this vital resource. This award-winning program examines the threats, surveys the experts, and challenges you to make a difference through the choices you make.
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Why is water quality important? What are two ways you use water before you get to school each day? In what ways have you taken water for granted?
Who is upstream from you? Downstream? What practices do you see in your area that can negatively affect water quality? What do you do currently that can positively or negatively affect water quality?
What comes to mind when you think of water pollution? Can a stream be perfectly clear and still be polluted? What pollutants are likely problems in your area?
What is hydrology? What is the hydrologic cycle? How does water physically move in your area? How has the hydrology in your area changed?
How can pollution get into the water? What is nonpoint source pollution? What can happen in the hydrologic cycle to move pollutants into the water? How might pollutants enter the water near your home?
6. THE WATERSHED APPROACH
What is a watershed? How does the way we use land affect water quality? What are the potential pollutants in your watershed? What measures could be taken to solve pollution problems in your area?
7. EXCESS NUTRIENTS
What are sources of nutrients in your watershed? What responsibilities do the users of these nutrients have to protect water quality? Are these uses necessary?
8. MANURE MANAGEMENT
What comes to mind when you hear about manure spills or fish kills? How can politicians influence farming practices? How can the economic needs of farmers influence farming practices?
9. URBAN RUNOFF
Describe the hydrology in an urban setting near you. What kind of hydrology was present before this urban setting was built? What pollutants do you see entering the waterways in this area?
10. TAKE ACTION
What water quality measures are being taken in your area? What organizations or groups are involved in these efforts? What actions will you take to improve water quality?
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