How is the Water Used?

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Presently, the water in the Great Lakes region is used in many different ways. It is important for us to understand the ways that the water is used because the ways in which the water is used determines the water's effect on people and the environment.

The earliest use of the water in the Great Lakes was agricultural. And, despite the fact that farming is not as intense as it was at the turn of the century, it is still an importnat aspect of daily life in the Great Lakes region. Farmers who use the ater from the Great Lakes depend on the water to water their crops and supply water to their animals. This has important ramifications to the residents of the region, however. This is because any contamination that is in the water is then being placed in the soil and absorbed by the plants that grow in the soil, andthat same contamination is also being ingested by the animals that are drinking this water. In the end, it is humans who pay the price. The farmers sell the vegetables that they grow and the meat that comes from the animals. Thus, people might ingest all the contamination from the water as well.

The farmers, however, are not totally innocent victims of the contamination in the Great Lakes. By using chemical fertilizers and various other growing aides seep back into the water as well, thereby contributing to the contamination in the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes also function as an important part of the economy by providing a means for boats carrying cargo to enter and exit the area quickly and safely. The water in the Great lakes, however, does far more than just that. People are able to catch and eat the fish that live in the water as well collect and sell the natural resources from in and around the lakes themselves.

fish with bubblesThe Great Lakes serve yet another important purpose. for the millions of residents that live around the Great Lakes, the water is a major source of recreational pleasure. During the warmer seasons, people can be found swimming, boating, water skiing, or sunbathing around the Great Lakes. And once it begins to get cooler, boating is replaced by sailing, water skiing is replaced by ice skating, and swimming is replaced ice fishing. All year long residents find creative ways to get enjoyment from the Great Lakes.

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