Our supply of drinking water in Texas is under a serious threat of contamination by pollution from our cities and rural areas. Farmers use chemicals on their farmland that run off into nearby rivers and lakes and eventually contaminate drinking water. Environmentalist Dr. Richard Walker elucidates the problem: “Toxic waste from industry, sewage from human settlements and excess fertilizers from agriculture are polluting rivers and lakes and poisoning water supplies; more worryingly, pollutants are seeping down into aquifers causing long-term and possibly irreversible damage to the water supplies of future generations.” Pesticides, sewage, toxic waste, industrial gases, heat pollution, radioactive waste, oil seepage from refineries, oil spills and acid rain are all pollution threats to Texas’ rivers and lakes. The pollution created by chemical runoff from farm land accounts for 64% of pollution in the state’s fresh water supplies. These chemicals contain nitrates that have been blamed for several adult cancers and blood poisoning in babies. It can also cause eutrophication, the creation of an environment that is More suitable to plant than animal life. Raw sewage contaminating the water supply can reduce the oxygen level sufficiently to cause extinction of most forms of life. Not only does it destroy life, but it can get into the food chain threatening larger animals including man. Another source of pollution in Texas’ rivers and lakes can be attributed to fisherpersons themselves. Some of these thoughtless sportspersons toss their monofilament fishing lines, allowing them to float downstream where they attach themselves to other debris. They then become a real hazard to Texas wildlife in the area such as otters, beavers, and other mammals and birds, according to Jess Ramsey, superintendent of Texas’ Purtis Creek State Park. Several measures have already been taken to protect Texas, rivers and lakes. Toxic waste dumping has been banned near water supplies. Sewage treatment plants are treating sewage before release into rivers and lakes and waste water is now treated on site before it is released back into the environment. Stringent controls have also been enacted on industrial pollutants. To assist in the efforts to protect Texas’ rivers and lakes, please contact: Jerry Eller Heart O’ Texas Bassmasters 808 S. 2nd Killeen, TX 76541 Our groundwater supply is diminishing statewide, and the protection of our supply of safe drinking water in Texas needs to be a priority in future government legislation.