We are all connected by water. All living things need water. The earth has a remarkable system of transporting and recycling water for our use. Because we live on a planet, with a finite supply of water, we must take care of our natural resources, especially the water we use where we live. It doesn’t matter if we are a community of humans or a community of aquatic plants and animals, we all live downstream of someone or some organism that needs and uses the water. We should treat the water that we use the same way we hope the water we use was treated by others.
Everything that happens on the land in a watershed affects the water body into which it drains. A stream, pond or wetland can only be as healthy as its watershed. How we use the land affects the health of our aquatic resources, and in turn affects us and what we do in the watershed. In a healthy watershed, water is filtered and stored, but as water runs downhill, it can pick up whatever is on the ground beginning a process of altering water quality. When it flows through cities or across fields and pastures, water picks up dirt, pollutants, and heat. These contaminants flow into a stream, wetland or lake, affecting the water you use to drink, swim, or fish.