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Save our water

Underneath the city lights and crowded highways are pipelines that conduct fresh, drinkable ground water to our home faucets. The water carried through these pipes and tubes is vital to the American infrastructure. Fresh drinkable water comes from hundreds of different lakes, rivers and streams every year. The nation’s population is growing at an exponential rate and adding additional stress to this outdated system. Meanwhile, local utilities are raising supply rates for profit, while the federal government makes unexpected cuts on funding. Without fresh drinking water, society cannot exist.

I recommend that we exploit these industries deteriorating the water quality while conducting business. I support the United States government when it penalizes industries for their greedy business behavior, such as dumping hazardous waste into rivers and stream. All the money gathered should be put into a Clean Water Trust Fund and used to improve the natural ecosystems they destroy.

There is good news for the environment heading into the future. Lisa Jackson, President Obama’s new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, cares strongly about clean water issues. I support her movement to protect the environment by addressing major issues like pollution from animal feedlots and coal mining operations.

With current funds, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act only protects 32 percent of Colorado’s freshwater streams. This has happened through a form of bureaucratic “guidance,” when congress instructs the EPA to break off from holding polluters accountable. This occurs when the ecosystems polluted don’t flow year-round.

The Supreme Court should be expected to hold people responsible for environmental degradation. In time, the Clean Water Act will allow the courts and federal regulators to shield all wetlands, rivers, and lakes from pollution caused by unregulated development.

In my eyes, the solution is simple. There needs to be a Clean Water Restoration Act that clarifies that Congress intends for the Clean Water Act to protect all of America’s waters. All of these programs run by the government will become crucial as we head into the future. Clean water needs to be available in order to sustain life, especially as the water cycle is altered by the increase in temperatures caused by global warming, creating severe flooding and drought.

As an American, I feel it is my duty to educate people on the protection of our precious ecosystems and fresh water.

Cody Vickery

Aspen


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