You probably don't think much about water even though you use it every day.
There's a lot of water on our planet, but we can only use a small amount of it. Water covers about 70 percent of the earth, but only about three percent of it is fresh water. Most of the fresh water, about 75 percent, is in the form of ice. In fact, the frozen areas of the world have as much fresh water as all of the world's rivers will carry for the next 1,000 years. The demand for unpolluted fresh water is increasing because the earth's population is increasing.
This is a lot of water, but more than half of the water used in the United States is used by industries. For example, it takes 250 tons of water to make a ton of newspaper and 10 gallons to produce one gallon of gasoline. Given these facts, it’s understandable why it’s so important to conserve water.
Anglers and boaters are not the only ones who use bodies of water and have an effect on fish populations. Industries and power plants use large amounts of water. Communities need water for drinking. Farmers use it to water their crops and livestock. Barges and ships use waterways to bring products to market. Water is also used for waste disposal.
The demands for water use can cause conflicts among those using available resources. The results are not always good for the fish.
An occasional conflict arises when people want to dam a river for irrigation, for controlling floods, or for the production of electricity. Dams create lakes or reservoirs that are habitat for fish such as largemouth bass and crappie. However, the reservoir destroys several miles of river that might have been prime habitat for trout, smallmouth, or rock bass.
Water is too valuable to waste. With so much demand for our water it is important that each of us do our part to conserve it.
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