Essay About Soil And Water Conservation
Soil and water are some of the many things we take for granted everyday. Although we may not realize it, they provide us with very important things. We should try to conserve these natural resources. Soil is very important; without rich soil we cannot produce enough food and the quality of food we produce will be poorer. We depend on soil to grow plants that we need for food and to make things like shelter and clothing. Soil also provides a habitat for billions of organisms; contributing to biodiversity. We use soil as a holding facility for solid waste, a filter for wastewater and foundation for our cities and towns.
essay about soil and water conservation
When the Europeans first came to this continent, they were astounded at the number of fish in our waters and the amount of prey in our forests and on our prairies. Because we have been poor custodians of the land and water, this type of wildlife has been drastically reduced. However, we have taken a few baby steps in the right direction. Over the past 50 years we have removed chemicals from our detergents and pesticides. We have learned to rotate crops and the proper way to fertilize them and return the necessary nutrients to the soil.
Just because we can turn the tap and have what seems like an inexhaustible supply of water, does not mean that is really the case. We must be careful to conserve the water, to protect our soil from contamination and depletion and live as responsible citizens in this land that we have been given.
"Soil and water are two of the most important things in the world. Water and soil are both essential to plant and animal life. All plants, animals and people have to have clean water to survive. Besides drinking, water is also used for cleaning, bathing, and cooking. Soil is important for sustaining plant and animal life, and it provides support for our homes. It takes 500 years to form an inch of topsoil, so it is not quickly replaced. Soil is made of mineral matter, organic matter, water and air. It is 45% mineral matter, 5% organic matter, 25% water and 25% air. Without soil and water, we would not be here. We need to start conserving water and soil, so it is here for generations to come.
One of the best ways to conserve soil and water would be to prevent pollution. Pollution is when you introduce a harmful substance to the environment. An example is littering in streams, rivers and lakes. Some ways to prevent pollution are to recycle and reuse, stop littering and reduce burning of waste. We also need to reduce the use of pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers to prevent runoff into the soil and water.Also, many people don't understand the importance of soil and water, so we need to educate them. One way would be to start by creating agronomy clubs that could work on environmental projects. For example, they could develop ways to prevent runoff from taking our soil and create inventions to stop pollution. Another way we can help is creating community events, like the NC Big Sweep to clean out streams, rivers, lakes and land.
Farmers have developed many ways to conserve soil so that it is fertile for years to come. Some of the methods are contour plowing, conservation plowing and crop rotation. Farmers use these every year to help grow their crops. Crop rotation is when you grow different types of plants in a different field each year. Contour plowing is when farmers farm around hills. Conservation plowing is when farmers try to disturb the soil as little as possible. By using any one of these methods, they can help prevent nutrients from leaving the soil.
Without clean water and soil we could not survive. Therefore, conserving soil and water should be a joint effort with everyone taking part. Not littering and starting to recycle are simple ways that anyone can help. Community awareness projects can help educate the world about how we can preserve our environment. With more help, we can conserve the soil and water for generations to come."
Burke Soil and Water Conservation District is accepting applications from both agricultural and urban land users in Burke County for the North Carolina Agricultural Cost Share Program and the Community Conservation Assistance Program. These programs are intended to assist land users with technical and financial assistance to install Best Management Practices (BMPs) which are designed to address water quality and soil erosion problems.
The District works closely with the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA, NRCS) and the Division of Soil and Water Conservation - Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). NRCS provides soil conservation specialists to help landowners and land-users. The Division provides financial, technical and administrative support to the District.
Each year the Beaufort Soil and Water Conservation District extends an invitation to 3rd- through 5th-grade students in Beaufort County to showcase their creativity through the annual poster contest. The North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts sponsors the contest which begins on the local level. The contest purpose is to provide third through 6th-grade students an opportunity to become aware of and share their concerns for soil and water conservation through poster art. Our theme changes yearly on a rotating basis.
The Beaufort Soil and Water Conservation District extends an invitation to 6th-grade students to showcase their writing skills through the annual essay contest. Each year the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts sponsors the contest which begins on the local level. Its purpose is to provide 6th-grade students an opportunity to become aware of and share their concerns for soil and water conservation through composition. Our theme changes yearly.
Soil Conservation is a combination of practices used to protect the soil from degradation. First and foremost, soil conservation involves treating the soil as a living ecosystem. This means returning organic matter to the soil on a continual basis.
Soil conservation can be compared to preventive maintenance on a car. Changing the oil and filter, and checking the hoses and spark plugs regularly will prevent major repairs or engine failure later. Similarly, practicing conservation now will preserve the quality of the soil for continued use.
Soil conservation is a "combination" of practices used to protect the soil from degradation. First and foremost, soil conservation involves treating the soil as a living ecosystem, and recognizing that all the organisms that make the soil their home, play important roles in producing a fertile healthy environment. They are responsible for breaking down organic matter, releasing nutrients, and opening up spaces for the circulation of air and water.
Because most organisms in the soil depend on dead plant and animal matter for their food and energy, soil conservation requires that organic matter be returned to the soil on a continual basis. Organic matter is what provides good soil structure and water holding capacity, promotes water infiltration, and protects the soil from erosion and compaction.
Soil conservation is an active ongoing process throughout which the practitioner must maintain his/her commitment. The first step is to obtain a good basic knowledge of the land resource. This means knowing where the soil is most permeable and susceptible to groundwater contamination from excess pesticides; or where the land is most susceptible to water erosion because of a combination of slope and soil texture. Without this understanding, it is impossible to plan an appropriate conservation strategy.
The next steps are identifying or predicting problem areas, choosing and implementing soil conservation techniques, and maintaining control structures. The final step is to continually monitor the effectiveness of the plan and make changes if and when necessary.
In conservation tillage, at least 20 to 30 percent of the soil surface is covered in the previous year's crop residue after planting. The residue reduces wind velocity at the soil surface and breaks the impact of raindrops. Root systems hold the soil in place. If practiced across a slope, rows of stubble act as small dams to slow water as it runs down hill.
Another aspect of conservation tillage is the choice of machinery used. The traditional moldboard plow tends to overturn and throw the soil leaving it bare and exposed to erosion. Chisel plows however, leave 30 to 50 percent of the soil surface covered with residue.
Aside from erosion control, the other advantages of conservation tillage are increased water infiltration, a greater addition of organic matter to the soil, and savings of fuel and time for the farmer. Conservation tillage also enhances wildlife habitat for soil organisms, birds and small animals like field mice and snakes.
When used as a green fertilizer, legumes return a significant amount of organic matter to the soil. Their deep roots create tunnels for air and water to enter the soil. All these characteristics in turn guard the surface against water and wind erosion.
Cover crops are crops planted to reduce the impact of wind and water on bare soil. They absorb the impact of rain, reduce the speed of runoff, hold the soil in place, and encourage greater infiltration; and hence less runoff.
A buffer strip is an area of land adjacent to a watercourse that is vegetated with grasses or bushes. The plant cover filters sediment out of runoff, holds the soil in place and prevents washout, slumping, and reductions in water quality due to siltation. Buffer strips are generally 2 to 5 meters wide. (The width varies according to soil texture and slope). They should be protected from tillage, machinery and cattle access to work effectively.
A grassed waterway is a permanently vegetated saucer-shaped channel designed to carry surface runoff across land without causing erosion. It is commonly used where gully or rill erosion is taking place due to the concentrated flow of water overland. The grass slows the flow of water and protects the soil from erosion. The water is carried safely to a stable outlet such as a drainage ditch or stream.