Water Issues to Consider

Some land management practices use vast amounts of water. How can people manage land to conserve water? (For example, what if people replaced water-thirsty plants, shrubs and trees and with native vegetation?) Has anyone done this in your community?

Responsible recreation makes a difference in the quality of water. Motor fuels can pollute. Propellers on boats can damage or kill sea grasses that serve as nursery for young saltwater fish. Birds, fish and reptiles can get tangled and die in discarded fishing line. Some invasive aquatic plants take up all the oxygen in a lake or pond, killing all the fish and native plants. Driving 4-wheelers in streambeds can kill aquatic life that fish depend on. Can you find out what personal ethics recreationists in your community follow? How do recreationists feel about being regulated? What can boaters, floaters, anglers, 4-wheelers do?

Consumer Responsibility and Conservation When all of us work together, we can save a tremendous amount of water. What are some water saving tips for your community - individuals, municipal, industrial/business, agricultural?

Wildlife needs water, too. What forgotten wildlife needs are in your community? What affect does water quantity/quality have on wildlife, habitat and aquatic systems in your area? Why does TPWD have "mussel watch" - who cares about a clam?? (Why is an "indicator species" important to public health?)

Economics of Water Good habitat = good economy. Good water affects wildlife, recreation, tourism, land values, viable resources, quality of life, etc. What would happen if water systems in your area were negatively affected? Think about the effects on natural systems, economics, tourism, social customs, etc.

Water Management issues: Who owns the water? Who manages the water? Who should? Do you know the difference between groundwater and surface water? What does "right of capture" mean and what implications does it have for your community? One theory for water conservation is to raise the price of water and allow private business to sell water to cities. What are the pros and cons of this theory?

Local Water Issue: Each community faces water issues specific to its region. Could be that water demand exceeds supply. Perhaps water quality is an issue. Or, for example, in Central Texas, flood management is a concern. Call your local water authority or regional planning group to find out more.

BE FAIR! There are usually several sides to a story. Be clear about this if you are tackling a controversy. Remember, it's very rare that anyone is ever 100% right or 100% wrong.


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