Water Supply Issues

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Page 1: Great Lake Water Policy

Water is a resource that has been taken advantage of throughout history, and recently the world has started to learn the lessons of evolution. Over the past two centuries people have neglected to see that rapid population growth, economic expansion and urban area development have effected {affected} many parts of the world water supply. Water in recent years has played a huge part in the advances of societies. With the growth of society {odd switch between "societies" in the previous sentence and "society" in this one.} the concern to keep these resources protected and preserved has also grown. The reality of the situation is that water is no longer an unlimited resource.⁷¹³

Water policy has been a topic of recent discussion within the international community and the
Unites {Woops} States. It was in 1948 that the original structure of the regulating water quality was instilled but it was just the outline for what was to come. The United States set the frame work for water policy in 1972 with, “The Federal Clean Water Act.” {Why did this act merit quotes?} This act helped regulate pollution of drinking water as well as set expectations of how water is managed. The act also helped to prevent water-borne diseases {sort of- the act didn't actually do the prevention} carried in drinking water to make it safer. In the United states alone 3 out of 4 people get their drinking water from the tap, which is mostly likely from a public reservoir or a public water supply. In addition to keeping people healthy, these policies {vague reference- what policies?} were intended to maintain the water resources that the United States has. The United States and Canada share the biggest fresh water resource in the world between them. The Great Lakes are a resource that were over looked until recently.⁷ {Really? That seems a bit overstated.}

All together the Great Lakes make up 22% of the fresh water supply on earth. In the United States the Great Lakes make 4.2% of the water supply. Although 4.2% does not seem like a big percentage it is a sizable from one source and many people would be affected if something happened to the fresh water source.
For the past 150 years the Great Lakes region has been expanding. {I think you need to explain that statement more.} The growth of each lake is outlined in the graph.²¹ {Your graph shows a population growth, not a growth in each lake.}

The lakes are a big resource to the shipping world. They act as a water high {huh?} and since the 1950's have been a very popular way of transporting goods. There is a lot of transport of iron ore, coal, and limestone that travels through the Great Lakes. Not only is transportation a factor but also agriculture, marine life, and industrial growth are taken into consideration too. {Taken into consideration for what?} With all the growth {what kind of growth?} withing {typo} the United States and Canada, both are looking at new ways to reduce the pollutants as well as preserve the natural ecosystem of this environment.¹²

There has been civilization around the Great Lakes for about 10,000 years. It was possible that there was a land bridge from Asia that placed the native there. However; it was in the 1600’s that people started to migrate to around the Great Lakes. Throughout the years there have been many wars over the region. Due to this {this what? need a noun here} , Canada and the United States created the, “International Joint Commission”(IJC) in 1909. It helped the two nations keep the Great Lakes protected from each other as well as clean. This was the first water policy that both countries had set up in order to create checks and balances. The IJC is responsible for three main tasks over the Great Lakes. The first is the management over the use of the water. The second is continuous research on the Great Lakes, {Do you really have a hot link to every time you use "Great Lakes?"} to understand the problems that are going on. The third responsibility is to make sure any disputes that the nations can not solve for themselves in the IJC are to brought to the commission for final decision. The IJC are the ones that are suppose to watch over and assess the progress of the water quality agreement.¹

The Water Quality Agreement is shared between the IJC, the Water Quality Board and the Science Advisory board. The Water Quality Board helps with the IJC, they are the main consultant to the commission. It is made up of high ranking people from the different agencies like; federal, state and the provincial {These are levels of government, not different agencies} . The Science Advisory board works with the Water Quality Board. They are the people who supervise most of the research and data collecting. The people that are involved in the Science Advisory Board help to give recommendation to the Water Quality Board about what has been found. They provide the data of what should be happen {typo} to the Great Lakes.¹

The board and commission are making change {typo} within the Great Lakes, they are changing what the past century has done. {comma splice} As talked about earlier, agriculture is one of the main pollutants of the Great Lakes. {no, it's the source of pollutants} There had been clearing of the land that has {strange verbs here} altered the structure of the lake and interfered with the ecosystem. Increased flooding on {in} the area, ruining vegetation, and creating seasonal water fluctuations . {fragment sentence} Agriculture also created a number of pollutants that are in the waters now. There are numerous chemicals that are now present in the lakes from the run-offs of fertilizers that were used. DDT is an example of a compound that got into the lake but since it was band{banned} , the levels have gone down. Plus some areas of wild life are now recovering. {fragment sentence} Transportation and industrial areas of the Great Lakes have also done many things to reduce what destruction is happening to the Lakes. {be consistent with your capitalization} Transportation has slowly reduced its self {awkward} in recent years. With modern modes of transportation {need to be more specific for the next part of the sentece to make sense.} , the smaller vessel started to disappear. Mainly the large ships are left for mass transit. {the point isn't clear} The industries on the other hand {confusing} have not slowly decreased. They have increased and there have been numerous regulates {typo} now. There are many areas of the Great Lakes that have been contaminated because of them. {vague reference} All of the sewage or waster {typo} products were released into different water ways in the past century. {point isn't clear} It wasn’t until after that they {who? The products?} realized that they were polluting the water that they stop {typo} and are now trying to regulate what goes into the water to prevent anything else from happening.¹

One of the most recent acts that the area passed on to Congress was, “The Great Lakes Legacy Act”. It was proposed in 2002 to Congress allowing the 270 million dollars be used to help to reduce what people are doing to the Great Lakes. There was {agreement} 50 million dollars that will be {tense shift} used on the lake for various reasons. The act is there to assess the damage that is already in place as well as try to find a solution and to stop any further damages from happening. The act is supposed to clean up areas that have really been affected by pollutants. The act is to help clean up sediment to increase property values which help to build economic growth around the area. Also the act is to fund any of these clean up projects and research that is done every year on, "areas of concern." The map below shows all the area of concerns between the United state and Canada and place that are shared.⁶⁵{The act can fund, it can include regulations, it can encourage but the act itself does not clean up}

The Great Lakes is {agreement} an example of what good management, time and research can do to protect a "National Treasure", {why is this in quotes? Does it refer to the movie?} in contrast to the Aral Sea and what happens with the mismanagement. {I realize that you are trying to work in the link to the Aral Sea, but by going back to Congress, the logic is weakened.} Another form of support came in 2006 from Congress when the “Great Lakes Regional Collaboration” was put together. The goal of the group was to set up a framework to determine how to keep the Lakes at status quo. The first mission of the framework was to develop a Great Lake Protection and Prevention strategy. This would address the consequences the people are currently having on the Great Lakes and what people can do to protect them from great damage and restore the damage that has already occurred. The group also wants to provide new strategies for helping the Great Lakes ecosystem in the future. For many who worry that the Great Lakes is going to be lost like the Aral Sea, it isn't! {just shifted from formal to informal. It doesn't fit here} There are many policies that are in place to help treat, stop and prevent what is going on to the lakes.⁴⁵

  1. "People and the Great Lakes." Chapter 3, Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/atlas/glat-ch3.html (January 31, 2009)
  2. "The Great Lakes" Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lake (February 15,2009)
  3. "WATER." Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/fwpca/05.htm (February 2, 2009)
  4. " Areas of Concern" Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/index.html February 3,2009)
  5. "The Great Lake Regional Collaboration." Great Lakes Regional Collaboration http://www.glrc.us/ (February 10,2008)
  6. "The Great Lakes Legacy" Enviromental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/sediment/legacy/ (February 11, 2008)
  7. "Clean Water Act." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 Feb 2009, 05:12 UTC. 18 Feb 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Clean_Water_Act&oldid=271052984>.
{Very nice job with the citations}

Page 2: The Aral Sea

The Aral Sea is located in central Asia, with Kazakhstan north of it and Uzbekistan to the south of it. The Aral Sea Basin also includes the countries of Tijikstan, Kyrgstan and Turkmenistan. The sea is between the Karakum desert and the Kyzylkim desert. Aral means island in Kazak and used to be comprised of over 1100 islands. As the fourth largest “inland body of water”, {why is this in quotes?} the Aral Sea also flourished with fishing and trade.¹

The changes in the Aral Sea since 1957. http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/images/AralSeaChronology.jpg
Today the Aral Sea has shrunk to one fourth of its original surface area. Water levels have been falling two feet a year since 1960. The Aral Sea is no longer one sea and has been split into the “Large” Aral, and the “Small” Aral and is likely to split again. A sea which once thrived on the fishing industry has not been able to support aquatic life since 1970 due to its high levels of salt. Overall in less then {than} fifty years the sea level has decreased by eighty feet and lost ninety percent of its volume. These dramatic changes have also changed the weather patterns of the region. During the peak of the Aral Sea the water helped to stabilize temperatures. As the {level of the} Aral Sea has decreased the summers have become much hotter² with temperatures reaching one hundred and four degrees Fahrenheit¹, the winters much colder² with temperatures dropping to negative four degrees Fahrenheit,¹ and decreased the amount of precipitation received.¹ {awkward}

The question that arises is how did it get {a little vague} like this? The originally {typo} goal of the Soviets {more formal, especially for the first reference} was to work on making the desert profitable especially in the cotton market. The river flow that went into the sea was rerouted to the agricultural fields and the Soviets were successful in their goal.² But things like {such as} drainage, inefficiency and waste were never considered. Once the problem {explain the problem as it would have been observed by these people. Tell the story.} was realized in 1960 it was too late. Starting in 1980 the sea received no water at all depending on how dry the year was.¹

The complication of the sea levels diminishing in the sea {a little tangled} has sprouted other environmental problems. The agricultural practices that existed also worsened these problems today. {what agricultural practices? You've got an opening to explain more!} Sandstorms occur about ten times a year¹ with over “forty three million metric tons of regional salt and dust is blown into the air annually.”² {nope, that quote isn't earth shattering enough that you shouldn't paraphrase it.} During these storms dust containing pesticides are moved around and spread. Karakalpakstan is most affected by these due to the direction the wind travels. The pesticides found in the dust are dichlorodiphenyl-trichlorethans, hexachloro-cyclohexane compounds, and toxaphene.¹ Due to the duststorms these chemicals have been also found in the food at levels three times higher then recommend. {typo} This has lead {typo- led} to high rates of birth defects, infan
The separation of the Small Aral and the Large Aral. http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/fileadmin/images/applications/hydrology/aral_sea_modis_2007_uk.jpg
t mortality, anemia, kidney disease, liver disease and drug resistant tuberculosis.²

From the storms the salt itself has damaged land which has affected farming and domestic animals. Another adverse effect on farming is the reduced growing season due to the climate change. As previously mentioned the summers have become hotter {comma before the conjunction} but they have also become shorter due to the decline of the sea. {explain} This {this what? need a noun} makes growing seasons shorter which along with less precipitation in the area makes producing agricultural goods harder.¹ The salt also has spread and affected the drinkable water which affects people physically and also agriculturally.² {drinkable water affects people agriculturally?}

Although the outlook of the Aral Sea seems dreary there recently has been positive progress. The “Small” Aral has been closed off from the “Large” Aral by a dam that was put in place. This has helped to stabilize the “Small Aral.” {tell me more! How does that work? Nice figure} The goal is to bring back some of the fishing that the area was previously known for.² The sea {the Small Aral?} has grown by 1,000 square kilometers. People’s health is improving because clean water is being piped in {into where? houses? the sea?} and fish has been reintroduced into their diets. The climate is also improving which is making summers cooler with fewer sand storms and more precipitation. More precipitation and cooler weather in the summer allows for more grass to go to support livestock especially the swans, ducks and geese {hmmm- are these really considered livestock?} that have been coming back. President Nazarbayev of Kazakh{stan} has a goal to bring back the sea. Already fisher men have already {typo- too many alreadys} started to come back thanks to phase one. A fish processing plant is at full power. Sturgeon and fingerlings have recently been put in the sea. Fiberglass fishing boats are being built in a new factory.³ These improvements show that change can be made in the Aral Sea area.

Another example of a declining sea source is the Dead Sea.

(1) Whish-Wilson, P.; Journal of Rural and Remote Environmental Health. 2002, 1(2), 29-34.
(2) Annin, P. The Great Lakes Water Wars, 1st ed.; Island Press: Washington, 2006.
(3) Fletcher, Martin. “The Return of the Sea.” The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1975079.ece (8 Feb. 2009) {Very nice reference format!}

Page 3: The Dead Sea

Another example of a declining water source is the Dead Sea. Located between Israel and Jordan the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at 395 meters below sea level. But over the past fifty years the lowest point on earth has dropped to 410 meters below sea level. {sentence fragment} The flow of water into the Dead Sea decreased to 300 MCM {define the unit} a y
The Dead Sea is located between Jordan and Israel. http://tinyurl.com/dbptka
ear in 2000 from 1300 a year in the 1930’s.¹

Not only is this {this what? need a noun} an environmental concern but it is also a religious concern. The area is of cultural and religious importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians. It is the location of Sodom and Gemorrah from the biblical period, the origin of John the Baptist, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and it is the location of Masada. If these important historical {typo- missing a word?} were to be lost
The differences in the Dead Sea since the beginning of the centry to 1997. http://tinyurl.com/c728pm
, there would also be a loss of tourism in the area which would hurt the Middle East economy.¹

The impact on the decline of the Dead Sea is a lot slower then that of the Aral Sea but still {is} of grave concern. Most of the deterioration has happened since 1970, the decline since then has been one meter a year. {comma splice} The decline has environmentally caused a decrease in wildlife, plant life, sinkholes, {need stronger parallel structure- otherwise you've got a decrease in sinkholes, which seems like a good thing} land quality and more worry about sources of water in the Middle East. Although there have not been any adverse affects to humans like in the Aral Sea region, the loss of the Dead Sea would be a loss in the mineral resources which provide exclusive medical and health benefits.¹ {I think you need to explain how these benefits are "exclusive"}

The concern of {over?} water resources in the Middle East is the original catalyst for the decline. {I just got lost. what is declining?} Water was diverted from entering the Dead Sea to help address the fresh water demands in the area. Water and conserving it is one of the only topic’s {typo} which unifies the Middle East. Jordan and Israel are working together to promote and help the Red Sea-Dead Sea Peace Conduit (RSDSC). This project has designed a solution {projects don't design solutions- people do} to not only help revive the water levels in the Dead Sea but to also provide more fresh water for the region. Water will be transported from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea to reverse negative effects that have already occurred and restore the area. The RSDSC also has a plan to create more fresh water through desalination projects which would immensely help the area.¹

(1) “Israel and Jordan Launch Global Campaign to Save the Dead Sea- August 2002.” http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2002/8/Israel%20and%20Jordan%20Launch%20Global%20Campaign%20to%20Save%20t (11 Feb. 2009).

{good reference format}