Groundwater Depletion Note: You may use a maximum of 600 words for your entire brief; please do your best to follow the recommended word limit for each section.
A) Provide a succinct, sciencebased summary of the problem.
Groundwater depletion is a occurring at an accelerating rate. Groundwater is a highly dependable source, especially where there is a lack of surface water. Most industrial, domestic, and agricultural practices rely on groundwater to meet their daily needs.
Furthermore, It helps supply water to wetlands, lakes and rivers as well as serves as drinking water to over half of the United States population. Nonetheless, it provides over
60% of water for irrigation to croplands for food the population consumes. Groundwater depletion is continuing to rise, especially in regards to the Colorado River and its reservoir;
Lake Mead. The Colorado River contributes to seven different states, along with parts of
Mexico (Postal, 2014). In addition, the Colorado River basin supports roughly 40 million people and 4 million acres of farm land for irrigation (Prigg, 2014). Thus, without the provisions of the Colorado River for several states, thriving as an economy would be impossible. B) Make an ecological argument for why this problem needs to be addressed. In other words, what ecological systems and values are affected?
If the depletion of groundwater from the Colorado River Basin continues at its current rate, crop production will significantly decrease, surface water supply will be in higher demands and ecosystems will diminish. Groundwater depletion alone is accredited to virtually 77% of the river basin loss (Castle and others, 2014). The inability of reservoirs to refill properly causes a dramatic decline in the surface water levels, which in turn, interferes with water supply reaching to streams, rivers and lakes. C) Make an economic argument for why this problem needs to be addressed. In other words, what economic systems and values are affected? Include $ figures—note: you need a source for this.
D) Accordingly, ecosystems within the Colorado River Basin can provide approximately
500 billion dollars in economic benefits yearly (Batker and others, 2014). The economy depends on the environment; therefore, if the landscape is healthy economies can thrive, if landscapes become degraded, economies will fail. For example; Las Vegas Nevada is a large tourist attraction in which is supplied by the Colorado river for its water resource.
E) How does this problem illustrate common threads in environmental problems?
Choose three of our themes and discuss each below
F) Connections Connections Connections
G) As the depletion of the Colorado River Basin continues to rise, so does the supply of surface water to lakes, streams, and rivers. Therefore, biological organisms such as plants, and animals suffer due to the lack of resources they once had access to.
Surrounding wetlands are diminishing because the river is unable to fill them.
FORM—COMMON THREADS ANALYSIS BRIEF
Wildlife is decreasing due to the scarcity of food, water and habitat. Water filtration is also reduced in essence of wetland deprivation and biodiversity.
1. Choosing the lesser Evil
More strict management and regulation laws will have to be put into place to reduce the rate at which groundwater is becoming depleted. Regulations will have to be implemented throughout all the states that the Colorado River supplies, not just certain areas. Since agricultural and industrial based regions require a higher need for the rivers resources, their water consumption should be strictly monitored and observed. Pumping is also a great concern for these areas; "streamflow depletion" for example, is when groundwater has been pumped to an extent when it effects the flow of water to…