Too Much or Too Little: Sustaining Watershed and the People Who Need Them

TitleToo Much or Too Little: Sustaining Watershed and the People Who Need Them
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2008
AuthorsToch, S. L.
Conference Name76th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 76th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 2008
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationHood River, OR
Keywordswatershed management, hydrologic system, ecological processes, environmental health, environmental planning, land use, water quality

Around the world, decreasing water availability and increasing costs of water purification serve as an indicator of our struggle between human demands and the maintenance of ecological functions and processes of natural resources. But while much has been written on the degradation of natural areas, and growing concerns for human health, little has been done to address their connections. While inherently we know that there is a connection between how we use our water resources and the resources available to us, the challenge has been to define this connection in terms that are considered valid, and to apply this knowledge in a strategy for action. This work outlines the similarities and interactions between ecological and human needs; serving as a basis for the identification and development of effective risk assessment and management alternatives that focus on an increased awareness of the tradeoffs inherent in every resource decision. By exploring the connections between water quantity and quantity in land use, water quality and human health, we can gain a better understanding of how human effects on ecological processes do, in fact, affect our quality of life.