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Water is essential for human life and it has very many uses. From doing household chores, cooking, farming and drinking. However, when it comes to drinking water it is a need for it to be clean and this necessary for there to be human sustainability. Research shows that a very significant percentage of the world population do not have access to clean drinking water. The use of contaminated water with infections is a major problem when it comes to developing nations mostly. It has even become a public goal in such nations to reduce waterborne diseases because they have become a major cause of deaths bearing with the fact that they spread very quickly.
Water is a necessity not only for humans but also other organisms. The United States Environmental Protection Agency in their calculations had assumed that an average American consumes around two litres of water per day (Perlman, 2014). In most parts of the world, bottled water is sold and it is much preferred since it has been chemically cleaned and all the dirt and chemicals that could cause harm to the human body have been exempted. There are various sources of water and they include: surface waters like rivers and streams, desalination of sea and ocean water, biological sources like plants, precipitation like the rain, the ground through aquifers and lastly through water supply like the taps at home.
Clean Water focuses on a discharge that is released to publicly owned treatment works (POTW). This pre-treatment program puts a control measure on the indirect release of publicly owned treatment works industries and they must meet certain regulations. The main aim of the national pre-treatment program is to make sure there is no damage of the municipal sewage treatment plants that may arise as a result of the discharge of dangerous and toxic waste into their sewer system. The program also ensures that the sludge from these treatment plants is protected.
In order to account for the dwindling sources in the Great lakes, clean Water rehabilitation also has biosolids plans which are residuals from waste-water that have been treated and hence can be used beneficially (Borchert, 1954). The residual from waste water which were formerly sewage sludge and can only be referred to as biosolids after they have passed through treatment and can be used to benefit rather than inflict harm. The Environmental Protection Agency allows the use of these biosolids in land application like farming.
The discharges of a public owned treatment works are regulated by them and not the Environmental Protection Agency. The public owned treatment works set regulations to work on a local basis but the Environmental Protection Agency sets national standards for them. These include categorical general pre-treatment and technology based regulations for the industrial users of these systems. A state has the power to create its own public owned treatment works regulations which may be stricter than those set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The non point source pollution like earlier mentioned does not have a definite source where it can be traced to like pollution from industries. Some of the pollutants associated with nonpoint source pollution are: Excess fertilizers and herbicides from agricultural land, oil and chemical from energy production and urban runoff, bacteria and nutrients from livestock and pets, pollutants as a result of hydromodification, salt and acid from irrigation and abandoned mines and residual sediment from construction sites. Farmers are also encouraged to use best management practices when choosing farming methods to avoid the chances of chemicals running off into water sources.
As part of the amendments of the Clean Water Act in the year 1987, the National Estuary Program was established. With its main aim to be to identify, protect then restore the significant estuaries in the whole United States (APB, 1904)). The program not only focuses on the maintenance of the integrity of the whole estuary physically, chemically and biologically in addition to the protection and improving of the quality of water. The act also looks at the use of the estuary economically and recreationally. The program also encourages the local communities to take it into their own hands to take manage their estuaries.
A National Estuary Program usually consists of representatives from state, federal, local and state governments and their role is to manage the estuaries in the local communities’ interests. In the act there is also a National Coastal Water Program which incorporates the Great Lakes Program, Gulf of Mexico program and the Chesapeake Bay Program. The Chesapeake Bay Program aims at the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay for the future generations. The Great Lakes Program on the other hand aims at promoting the federal, local, tribal and state and promoting the state of the Great Lakes.
The Gulf of Mexico Program aims at the restoration, protection and enhancement of coast and marine waters of the Gulf Mexico. The preservation of the Gulf and its natural resources, protection of the human health and adequate food and supply and ensure there are recreational services. Section 404 of the law requires for a permit to be fill material or dredged stuff into the waters of the United States. Many normal practices are exempted from this section and therefore no need for a permit.
The act also addresses activities like mining and specifically oil and gas exploration. This is because the exploration and actual extraction of oil and gases in most cases happens in water bodies like oceans and seas. Therefore with most oil deposits being in water bodies, extreme care must e taken in the exploration and actual mining process to avoid the occurrence of a leak that would cause harm to aquatic plants and water. The drilling process is very crucial to avoid the occurrence of a case where the oil or gas would break through and come into contact with the water.
The setting of drilling equipment's and the actual selection of the drilling site must be approved to avoid causing harm. The oil companies are also urged to handle the discharges from the extraction of oil and gases with ultimate care to avoid the reaction with the water. The environmental Protection Agency urges that operators of oil and gas fields maintain Best Management Practices (BMP) to reduce the occurrence of any discharge including sediments in storm water for the activities before and after the exploration and mining (Perlman, 2014). They are also urged to be extra keen with the Best Management Practices (BMP) they choose since these practices are influenced by the climatic and seasonal changes. The oil and gas mining companies therefore have to be extremely careful with the practices they choose to avoid them being caught off guard after there has been a change that they did not adjust to.
Section 402 of the Clean Water Act has a specific emphasis that required the Environmental Protection Act to process and overlooks the implementation of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. The section specifically lays emphasis on the discharge of into navigable waters through point sources. Point sources refer to specific channels of releasing water like pipes (CDC, 2014). The Environmental Protection Agency has issued the authority to forty states to administer the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. The agency also offers permits based on the content of the pollutants and their effect on the environment.
The permit also outlines the amount of discharge expected from the industry or individual. The laws or regulations in a state depend on certain conditions. Apart from the common threat of the discharge on the environment, some states also consider the effects of the discharge on aquatic plants or life. If the discharge poses a threat to aquatic life then under no circumstances can the permit be offered (Obegi, 2014). However in most cases, the technological standards or costs are not considered. What matters most is that the quality of water being discharged is clean and fit for not only human use but also aquatic life and recreational activities.
The act also has a restriction on those practicing aquaculture. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Aquaculture refers to a “defined water area which uses discharges of pollutants into that designated area for the maintenance or production of harvestable freshwater estuarine or marine plants or animals" (Borchert, 1954). The discharge used in such ponds need the evaluation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System for them to be issued with a permit to carry on with their business. However, before the issue of a permit, they have to meet certain requirements.
First, they must be able to produce a harvest of more than 9090 kilograms which is about twenty thousand pounds of cold fish which include trout and salmon. The second requirement is that the project should have the ability to produce about 45,454 kilograms which is about a hundred thousand pounds of warm fish. Examples of warm fish are minnows, catfish and sunfish.
APB. (1904). Recent Publications of the United States Geological Survey. Water Supply and Irrigation Papers. Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, 605-608.
Borchert, J. R. (1954). The surface water supply of American municipalities. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 44(1), 15-32.
CDC,. (2014). CDC - Public Water Systems - Drinking Water - Healthy Water. Cdc.gov.
Obegi, D. (2014). A Water Bond to Protect the Environment and the Economy | Doug Obegi's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC. Switchboard.nrdc.org.
Perlman, H. (2014). Public supply Water Use, the USGS Water Science School. Water.usgs.gov.
The mid-Atlantic Ocean is characterized by ocean ridges made through continuous movement of tectonic forces. Modern geological evidence indicates that the ocean floors created and destroyed through tectonic activities. Modern geological data on the movement of tectonic plates shows that the rate of plate movement ranges from half inch to six inches every year (Ezer, 2013). This summary includes content from the journal of geographical research oceans documented in 2013. In the journal, the author focuses on the Gulf Stream induced level and the variability along the mid Atlantic coast over the years. The authors intent to introduce a geological hypothesis that suggests that the regional coastal level rise be due to climate change and, therefore, must put the impact of spatial changes and ocean dynamics into consideration.
Ezer, a re-known scholar in geology, appreciates studies by other scholars such as Holgate and professor Corlett. He draws his conclusion on the cause of ocean level rise from a collection of scholarly journal from writers in the field of geology as well as a deep personal study. The rate of sea level rise in the mid Atlantic is increasing at a considerably higher tempo than any other area (Holgate, 2007). This increase is especially significant along the coastal locations towards the northern side of the separation between the Gulf Stream and the coast at cape Hatteras (Ezer, 2013).
Despite the fact that Ezer has managed to establish different proofs to show that there has been a significant variation on the ocean level, there are still some unclear details. To begin with, there are disagreements between scholars on the best method of analyzing the rate of sea level rise. Also, there is no distinct method of distinguishing long term trend from the frequency variability during the time of study. There are claims that the rate of ocean rise may increase or decrease depending on several factors such as global warming among others. The issue of the global 60-year oscillation cycle is also a concern when conducting an analysis on the rate of ocean rise. The writer does not address this issue within the context of the essay despite the fact that it should be a critical concern.
In his conclusion professor Ezer, quotes that the recent geological data that justifies the fact that the sea level has been rising over time is his greatest motivation towards carrying out the study. In his view reducing transport activities on the Gulf Stream would reduce the geotropic currents which will in turn reduce the sea level gradients around the area. The current increase coastal sea level in the northern side of the Gulf Stream and thereby counter the rise in the southern side.
From a critical view, the study on sea level rise is valid and highly significant in the field of geology. Over the last few decades, the mid Atlantic coast among other coastal regions has experienced a considerable rise in sea level. The mid Atlantic is a suitable case study because of the presence of the mid Atlantic ridge. The region experiences significant tectonic action and movement which is the reason behind the formation of the mid Atlantic ridge. Conducting a study in this region makes it easy for scholars to have a clear view of the changes and variation in the sea level unlike other areas with fewer tectonic movements. There exists a close relationship between the implications of increasing transport activities on the gulf and the coastal sea level. Therefore, this study is both factual and significant in ensuring balance between the sea levels; amidst the divergence in climatic conditions.
The San Andrea's Fault in California is a crack on the earth's crust that is up to approximately 1100 kilometers long (Andrew, 2014). Over the years there has been a series of earthquakes that have occurred along the fault including 1857, 1906 and 1989. The fault lies exactly between the North American and pacific lithosphere plates. In this summary, the focus is on an article by Sandra s Schulz and Robert e Wallace on concurrencies and changes that have occurred on san Andrea's fault through time. The writers intend to bring to establish substantial knowledge on the fault by documenting details on the formation of the fault and the changes that have occurred since its existence. The formation of the fault was a dramatic phenomenon in the field of geology. It dates back to 1906 when the sudden displacement along the fault caused a great earthquake and fire in San Francisco. This essay is a summary of the concurrences and the changes that have occurred along San Andrea's Fault in California.
The fault is a linear through characterized by lakes, bays and valleys on its floor. Viewing the trough from above gives a striking view although the features are subtle through a lateral view. Long straight escarpments and narrow ridges are some of the unique features that may be used to distinguish the fault from other forms of landscapes. The fault forms part of the most spectacular features that exist in the world.
Through observation and detailed study of the alignment of rocks along the faults, geologist has come to the conclusion that there could have been more movement towards the right than to the left defined as right-lateral strike-slip. During the 1906 earthquake, the road across the head of Tomales bay experienced the greatest offset ever recorded in history. The displacement was up to 21 feet where the ground on the west shifted relatively to the northern direction.
It is important to note that the earth's crust is in continuous but constant motion (Robert & Sandra, 2014). Therefore, there are thousands of earthquakes along faults that occur as a result of this movement. There are three significant earthquakes that have occurred on San Andrea's Fault in California. The 1906 and 1957 earthquakes were roughly the same magnitude and are presumed to have emanated from the same movement.
The writers' conclusions are majorly based on the assessment of the next possible occurrence of an earthquake. According to geographical data, earthquakes occur within a time range of 150 years on seismic gaps. This information is crucial as it helps in ensuring that the proper protective measures are put in place to prevent fatal damage on life and structures. Residents are also discouraged from settling in areas that are prone to the occurrence of earthquakes.
This article is a detailed and a rich source of information on the concurrencies and changes that have occurred on San Andrea's Fault in California. The information is beneficial to scholars as well as professionals in the field of geology. Such details are essential in identifying how the fault could be put to the best use. The details include things like tapping energy generated from earthquakes or motion of the plates.
Ezer. Tend Corlett. Gulf Stream’s induced sea level rise and viability along the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast. Geophys.res.oceans.(2013).
Sandra S. S and Robert E. W. The San Andreas Fault.denver. U.S. Geological Survey. 2013
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