Raising the Bar on Water Quality

Archive—In case you missed's a look back at the April 2014 issue of EM, which examined different aspects of water quality, including the regulation of pharmaceutical disposal, the management of emerging contaminants in drinking water, and whether policies to manage stormwater runoff are having adverse—and unintended—consequences on the environment.
by Ann McIver

The term water quality is used to describe the condition of water, including its chemical, physical, and biological characteristics, usually with respect to its suitability for a particular purpose (i.e., drinking, swimming, or fishing).

When my youngest son was preschool-age, we convinced him that he needed to eat green beans and other fruits and vegetables to ensure that his “body factory” had all the things it needed to make him grow “big and strong,” like all little boys want.

Our planet Earth is like my son's body factory on a much larger scale—a complex system that responds to the forces on it. To support life on the planet, the system provides breathable air, fresh water, and solid planetary surfaces upon which we can make our livelihoods…these are the media that environmental regulations and policies strive to protect.

Each month, EM seeks to bring to the forefront topics that are relevant to environmental professionals, as we implement the regulations and policies necessary to keep the planet Earth's “factory” strong. This month's focus in on water, an essential resource for all life on our planet, and includes three articles highlighting various aspects of the water quality issue.

Members can read the full April 2014 issue of EM.