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The chapter gives us an eye opening description of the impact humans have on normal water flow and water availability where there is long-term settling and subsequent development of lakes and/or alteration of river water sources. The locales the river water sources feed may be as small as a town or as large as the land covering several towns. Regardless the size, the water feeding and sustaining complex, rich biological habitats and areas is called the “watershed”. A healthy, sustainable environment required for us to survive depends on a healthy watershed that re-establishes itself year after year. Unfortunately, human occupation has greatly altered the terrain throughout watersheds over decades of development jeopardizing dependable availability of water to all living within the watershed. We have utilized a “Dehydration Model” by diverting key rivers into lakes and covering large areas of ground needed for water absorption. Now we face a watershed parched and unable to complete a water cycle for replenishment.
Fortunately the watersheds may be saved. By identifying our own watershed and examining how we truly interact with it, we can identify environment destructive practices and prevent an untimely, dry death. Adopting lifestyles that follow a “Rehydration Model” when using our resources available in the watershed can begin the preservation of our watersheds. This model demands watershed literacy and the adoption of Conservation Hydrology (water conservation) to resupply the water that has been drained from the ailing watershed. By following the four “R”s of water conservation 1) Receive, 2) Recharge, 3) Retain and 4) Release communities within a watershed may be able to reverse the drying and parching of the area and return it to its lush, life sustaining.
Possible uses in the classroom: