Freshwater is vital to human life and societal well-being, but society has frequently not recognized the full value of healthy rivers, lakes, groundwater, and wetlands. There has been growing recognition that intact aquatic ecosystems provide many economically valuable services and long-term benefits to society, in addition to the provision of water. A new Ecological Society of America position paper explains the basis for sustaining freshwater ecosystems and details ways to go about reconciling ecosystem and human needs. The paper, “Meeting Ecological and Societal Needs for Freshwater,” addresses the complicated question of how society can extract the water resources that it needs while sustaining freshwater ecosystems. ESA offers a series of recommendations for how water should be viewed and managed, and how aquatic ecosystems can be protected or restored. These include incorporating freshwater ecosystem needs into national and regional water management policies, defining water resources to include watersheds, and increasing communication and education across disciplines.
The above story is based on materials provided by Ecological Society Of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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