How do local actions of people affect a watershed or just water?


Also, I need to know why people should protect a watershed or just water.

Pleeease help me! This is for a school project and I have been researching forever and can’t find anything.



Mark V

Examples of impact to a watershed include agricultural and industrial runoff, increased sedimentation from land clearing, human sewage and toxic discharges. Agricultural activities can introduce herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and runoff from animal feed lots. Sewage discharges can introduce nitrogen and phosphate compounds along with pathogens and mixtures of toxics. Uncontrolled land clearing can result in erosion, with the resultant increase in sediment loads to surface waters. Roadways, parking lots and buildings consist of impervious surfaces. These surfaces increase runoff rates and carry with those waters mixtures of dissolved substances to surface waters. The surface waters in any watershed eventually discharge into coastal or near-coastal waters.

We depend on the oceans more than most people realizes. Polluting our oceans, coastlines, or coastal areas (bays, estuaries, lagoons, wetlands) is terrible. We all live in one ecosystem. Causing a problem with one thing will eventually cause a problem somewhere else.

Obviously, we should not only protect watersheds because it’s good for the environment, but because we may at some time want to use the water ourselves. Irrigation, drinking, cooling…


Well, I know that simply littering affects watersheds and water. Each street has a storm drainage system which collects all the rain water and pours it into the nearest creek. When people throw trash and garbage into the streets or down the storm drains, all that stuff ends up in the creek. Metals and plastics, dyes and other chemicals, all in the creek.

Other stuff which ends up going down the storm drains in people’s neighborhoods:
Salt or other chemicals put on ice to melt it in the winter
Excess fertilizer or weed killer people put on their lawn or gardens
Oil and gas from leaky cars people haven’t taken proper care of
Soap from washing their cars or dogs

So, why does it matter?
The water in the creeks gets polluted. Many water animals die in that creek and sometimes the creeks are so bad that nothing is alive in them anymore.
These creeks all end up pouring into rivers. Most of our drinking water comes from rivers… of course the water company cleans it up with chemicals, but still…. ugh.
The rivers become polluted too and their wildlife starts to die. The things which feed on the river’s wildlife start to die. The animals which feed on those animals start to die. And on and on.
The rivers of the world all end up pouring into the ocean (well, most of them do, anyway). The oceans are huge, but often there is a dead zone around the mouth of a river because of the pollution in the water.

Much of the pollution is indeed caused by factories or industries, but much of it is caused by millions and millions of careless humans.

That’s all I can offer you. Hope it helps you think of something to write.

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