A watershed is one of the units discovered to play a role in conservation of the environment (Carlsen 44). It is through watersheds that water is regulated ensuring sufficient water for the present need and the future to come. The watershed has a joint role of preserving the environment and also maximizes its use by encouraging the flow of resources (Blake 2).
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Watershed management programs have been encouraged across states to support the environment and improve the standards of living for the people around (Carlsen 44). Developing a watershed is an effective strategy in water management and animal conservation.
A watershed sustains water management cycle, for instance the Columbia River basin around the Pacific Northwest. The Colombia river basin management program covers Idaho, Washington and Oregon. The river basin through the Washington department is able to regulate the quality of water and the distribution of water to the surroundings.
The watershed is highly favored because it is able to optimally distribute the flow of the natural resources (Ffolliot 76). It is able to satisfy the great demand for water and still ensure plenty supply in the future. The Columbia River basin covers approximately 10,000 acres of land and through it water is regionally supplied to the towns and firms around it.
The river basin is an efficient unit to sustain the towns with water because it routes quality water to the people sustaining nature and its resources. The Columbia River basin also enables water planning because it unifies the need to meet the demands of water and still conserves the natural habitat of fish and plants around it (Ffolliot 77).
The Columbia water basin distributes water to the various states and still conserves the natural habitat of animals and plants that live in water. It is lastly a good unit because it allows decentralization of responsibility in water management (Carlsen 45). The Columbia River basin has a lot of stakeholders like the Washington department of fish and wildlife, the public utility district and the department of ecology.
There are several benefits and challenges that come up once the watershed is created. A watershed is able to protect the environment because it is able to strike an aquatic ecosystem balance (Ffolliot 78). The Columbia River basin for instance is able to supply sufficient water to the people and also preserve enough water for the other surroundings.
It protects the disruption of water flow and helps in water management (Ffolliot 78). The unit is able to increase the water supply and enhance it through the water cycle management. This assists in water regulation for production of electricity, everyday usage and for the natural environment (Ffolliot 79).
Regulation also sees to it that the wildlife is not threatened. The unit is able to supply quality water, which improves the standards of living and healthy living. It ensures that there are enough water supplies for the present demand and the future. This prevents water shortage during long spells of drought and flooding during heavy rain.
The water management system is efficient due to data collected and predictions done beforehand to prevent natural disasters (Ffolliot 79). However, watersheds still encounter certain challenges such as funding. The cost of water management is huge and requires many donors to contribute for the various watershed overheads. Pollutant reduction to zero can prove to be a challenge during the implementation process.
Water management alternatives such as state or national boundaries are exercised; however the watershed is far able to conserve the farms, towns and the wildlife’s habitat (Blake 5). It can regulate the water ensuring quality and enough supply of it to meet the great demand. The state of national boundaries may not be as effective as the watershed program, due to accumulated state interests.
Using national boundaries is bound to bring in conflicts among states based on resource management. Watershed system is able to combine the several stakeholders instead towards one mission. The Columbia River basin for instance has several stakeholders such as the department of wildlife and the department of health in Washington working together. A watershed would stand best than an eco-region as a result of resources employed.
The chances of an eco-region being more successful could be low due to the large budget involved to maintain the program. The Columbia River basin along the Pacific Northwest is an effort of more than three states, which makes the funding less burdening. The watershed is an effective water manager due to its ability to preserve the environment and still utilize its resources.
In summary, society ever growing needs for water requires watershed management to meet this need and also prevent natural resource drain. It is a challenge to meet this needs everyday and not causes an imbalance of nature.
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Efforts however are been placed to come up with new technological ideas to ensure water is well regulated for future supply. The increase of usable water can be managed by employing various water management policies ensuring constant water supply. The watershed policy emphasis is on quality water supply and preservation of the environment despite the demand.
Blake, White. Development of a watershed for the lower river basin. New York: The Cadmus group, 2007. Print
Carlsen, Williams. Watershed dynamics. New York: NSAT press, 2004. Print
Ffolliot, Peter. Sustaining the flows of natural and economic resources from watershed lands. Journal of the Arizona academy of science 35(1). 76-80, 2003. Print