Clean drinking water is the basis of life for humans. Humans have a right to clean drinking water (clean meaning free from bacteria, as well as metal and toxic contamination). Animals have a right to safe drinking water as well. When considering water as a resource, it has direct value through utilitarian use. Today more than ever, we not only value clean water as a necessity to sustain life, but there is also quite a market in the selling of water; water for irrigation, human consumption, as well as livestock consumption.
Since water is a flow resource, it is affected by activities that have nothing to do with it. For example, a small feedlot may be on top of a hill, when the ...view middle of the document...
In allowing states to follow guidelines under the blanket of what the federal quality expectations are, the Untied States drinking water sources should remain free of contaminants (and with regular testing).
As stated by Dale (2015), most policies around using natural resources are a combination of biocentrism and anthropocentrism. Clean drinking water can also fall into both of these worldwide views. Whereas, humans (and other animals) must survive being able to drink clean water, the conflict may entail the feedlot whose waste runoff will trickle into a water source. A balance must be met. Regulations imposed on cases like these allow feedlots to exist as long as there are no residential areas within so many feet.
The natural world provides us with a bounty of resources. Our food, drinking water, clean air, and all of the products we consume and use each day primarily come from natural resources supplied by nature. All of our natural resources have value but the values we place on these resources differ in both how we quantify and qualify these resources. Below is a list of natural resources, select one resource to discuss:
* Clean air
* Earth’s climate
* Wilderness areas
* Endangered species
* Clean drinking water
* Old growth forests
Review Figure 1.1 in Chapter 1 of Environmental Policies. Identify the different environmental values associated with the natural resource you chose. Then, identify one policy tension between the resource that you choose and a threat to that resource. For example, clean air is threatened by practices that pollute the air (e.g., industries that do not use “green” technology when emitting pollution, automobiles, large-scale confined feeding animal operations, etc.) and wilderness areas are threatened by gas and oil interests.
Also, discuss the ways that different worldviews (e.g., biocentricism, anthropocentrism) influence the policy tensions surrounding the resource. Finally, discuss which policymaker (i.e., city, state, federal, business, interest group, public) would most effectively protect the natural resource you examined from current threats and why.
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