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Water Degradation Based on the article River Life Through US Broadly Degraded By William K Stevens Jan 26 93 Society has been presented with a broad spectrum of cause and effect relationships within the water based ecosystems Without a conscious effort to rehabilitate our water systems many rivers and lakes are doomed We have to look after this precious resource Fortunately many new controls and clean up programs have been introduced Rivers are being devastated due to physical and ecological transformation This decrease in the quality of river and water bodies results from human activities and processes The ecosystems are changing rapidly It is necessary to maintain a consistent balance in these ecosystems Imbalances are occurring with nutrient levels water temperature water level and sedimentation The stream then carries more sediment and becomes wider shallower and warmer making the water unfit for many vital organisms Stevens New York Times Jan 26 1993 The activities affecting the streams are as diverse as the areas in which streams are being affected Dams are capable of destroying total ecosystems They affect water levels and thus affect water temperature Changes in river temperature can destroy total population of organisms In addition they affect nutrient levels by cutting them off not allowing them to flow down stream Salmon runs often fall prey to the concrete monsters Although this is often bypassed with salmon elevators Development of land often results in the straightening channeling and diversion of the rivers and streams Many rivers and streams have simply dried up most of the year and some never make it all the way to the ocean This can be devastating to the wide variety of species and decimate niches and ecosystems lowering the biological h 000 diversity Development is often detrimental to river bank vegetation This allows water to run off too quickly thus reducing the water holding capacity of the land and adding
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