When water is polluted, it’s our neighbors and communities that suffer. Surface water contamination limits economic activity. Groundwater degradation requires costly treatment systems, infrastructure that is too expensive for many small and mid-sized communities.
We depend on water to sustain our way of life. Crop producers rely on irrigation to remain profitable. Energy producers require surface water to maintain generation facilities. Communities count on rivers, lakes, and streams to attract visitors and support local business.
There are important challenges ahead. Increased levels of point source and nonpoint source pollution put our waterways at risk. Changing weather patterns lead to unpredictable precipitation, forcing many of us to adapt. Hydrologic fracturing, excessive and inefficient irrigation, and increased sedimentation all must be addressed.
Water connects us all. The hydrologic cycle ensures this. Because we all benefit, we each have a role to play in its protection.