You are on page 1of 9

Learning Guide Unit 7


Unit 7: Soil, Pest and Water Management


Soil Profiles and Processes

Soil-Plant Relations

Conventional Agriculture

Pests and Pesticides

Sustainable Agriculture

Water Cycle and Fresh Water Supply

Water Supply Problems and Solutions

Water Pollution

Sustainable Solutions to the Water Pollution Crisis

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this Unit, you will be able to:

1. Describe the components of soils.

2. Discuss how land use affects global ecosystem conditions.

3. Identify environmental effects of pesticides.

4. Recognize the relationship between exposure to POPs and human health.

5. Explain alternative practices in farming and soil management.

6. Understand how the water cycle operates.

7. Know the causes and effects of depletion in different water reservoirs.

8. Understand how we can work toward solving the water supply crisis.

9. Understand the major kinds of water pollutants and how they degrade water

10.Understand how we can work toward solving the crisis involving water


Peer assess Unit 6 Assignment

Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments

Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the

Discussion Forum)

Make entries to the Learning Journal

Take the Self-Quiz

Take the Graded Quiz


The overview below will help you review the material covered in this unit.

Conventional and Sustainable Agriculture

In agriculture and horticulture, soil generally refers to the medium for plant
growth, typically material within the upper meter or two. Soil plays a key role
in plant growth. Beneficial aspects to plants include providing physical
support, heat, water, nutrients, and oxygen. Heat, light, and oxygen are also
obtained by the atmosphere, but the roots of many plants also require

The prevailing agricultural system has delivered tremendous gains in

productivity and efficiency. Food production worldwide has risen in the past
50 years.

On the other hand, agriculture profoundly affects many ecological

systems. Negative effects of current practices include ecological concerns,
economic and social concerns and human health concerns.

Pesticides from every chemical class have been detected in groundwater

and are commonly found in groundwater beneath agricultural areas. Despite
impressive production gains, excessive use of pesticides has proven to be
ecologically unsound, leading to the destruction of natural enemies, the
increase of pest resistance pest resurgence and outbreaks of secondary

These consequences have often resulted in higher production costs

and lost markets due to undesirable pesticide residue levels, as well as
environmental and human health costs.

Alternative and sustainable practices in farming and land use include

organic agriculture, integrated pest management and biological control.

Water Availability and Use

Precipitationa major control of fresh water availabilityis unevenly

distributed around the globe. More precipitation falls near the equator, and
landmasses there are characterized by a tropical rainforest climate. Less
precipitation tends to fall near 2030 north and south latitude, where the
world's largest deserts are located.

The water crisis refers to a global situation where people in many areas lack
access to sufficient water or clean water or both. The current and future
water crisis requires multiple approaches to extending our fresh water supply
and moving towards sustainability. Some of the longstanding traditional
approaches include dams and aqueducts.

Water pollution is the contamination of water by an excess amount of a

substance that can cause harm to human beings and the ecosystem. The
level of water pollution depends on the abundance of the pollutant, the
ecological impact of the pollutant, and the use of the water. The most deadly
form of water pollution, pathogenic microorganisms that cause waterborne
diseases, kills almost 2 million people in underdeveloped countries every

Resolution of the global water pollution crisis requires multiple

approaches to improve the quality of fresh water. The best strategy for
addressing this problem is proper sewage treatment. Untreated sewage is
not only a major cause of pathogenic diseases, but also a major source of
other pollutants, including oxygen-demanding waste, plant nutrients, and
toxic heavy metals.

Reading Assignment

Read chapters 10 and 13 in the textbook and answer the 'End of Chapter Review Questions' in
each chapter.
Discussion Assignment

Your posts should cover the questions below in full, and be at least 300 words long. Then
reply to and peer-review at least three other posts by next Wednesday 11:59PM UoPeople
Time, and rate the posts and replies.

This week we are going to look at the topic of water quality vs. water quantity. Make sure your
post is in your OWN words. Dont copy from sources you use for information.

Some links to help you:

Water for Life Decade: Water Quality

Water for Life Decade: Water scarcity

Water Resources: Quantity and Quality

Water Quality for Ecosystem and Human Health

1. Please list two bits of information, statistics or facts that you found at some of
these links which interested and/or surprised you?

2. Explain, in your own words, what the difference is between water quality and
water quantity?

3. Is water quantity or quality the biggest issue in your local village/town/city?

Why? Explain.

4. Are there disputes, violence or wars over water in your local


5. Look up what IWRM is: define it.*

6. Would IWRM work to help water issues in your local village/town/city?

* Some links to help you:

What is IWRM?

Water for Life Decade: Integrated Water Resources Management

Integrated Water Resources Management Plans

Any materials cited should be referenced using the style guidelines established by the American
Psychological Association (APA).

Two bits of information that are extremely amusing to me are:

Every year, more people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence,
including war. To me, this means more attention and energy should be paid to
clearing safe water, instead of evoking war and sending young people to die for
dirty political reason. Yes Im pointing the finger at the USA government.

By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water
scarcity, and two-thirds of the world's population could be living under water
stressed conditions. To me, this means some company will make a hefty profit by
selling clean water. The brainwash has started now, as Pepsi and Cocacola has
marketed their campaign for bottled water for years. It is only a matter of time that
those bottled water is more expensive than a Coke.

Here are 2 glasses of water. The first one is in full, but of dirty muddy water. The
second one is half-full, but of crystal clear water. Which do you choose?

The correct answer is: depending on your usage. If you need to use it for industrial
purpose, mix the water with other chemicals, then the first one is ideal as it is less
costly. If you need to use it for household purpose, drinking, then the second one is

As a country living right next to the Pacific ocean, with over 3,500 km coastline,
Vietnam is facing the most dramatic issue in water quality currently. The problem
was caused by Fomosa, a Taiwanese factory, that dumped harmful waste into the
ocean. The picture is terrifying beyond words:

(Wiki, 2016) collected: On 6 May 2016, the amount of collected fish carcasses
surpassed 100 tons. the fishermen of this province had already lost $5.2 million; in
addition, the disaster also heavily impacted the tourism industry as nearly 30%
tourists canceled their planned tours to the affected provinces for the national
holiday season starting on 30 April.

This marine life destruction has triggered a number of protests by Vietnamese

citizens in some cities on 1 May, 2016, calling for clean environment and
demanding the transparency in the investigation process. So far, the protest has
met such brutal oppression by the corrupted Vietnamese government.
Wiki. (2016). 2016 Vietnam Marine Life Disaster. Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Learning Journal

1. Choose one of the main water systems you have learned about that is also in
your country (do you have a lake, river, coast, or coral reefs in your

o Rivers and lakes

o Coastal areas

o Deep sea/Oceans

o Coral reefs

2. Research that item in our Textbook, and look online to study the
environmental issues associated with it in your nation. Then list what you
consider to be the two (2) main environmental problems associated with it.
Please do not forget to list the references you used.

3. In what ways do these issues affect you and your family directly?

4. In your own words, please describe one way you think those problems could
perhaps be reduced or alleviated?

5. Please outline in your own words, one other new thing you learned this week
in the course. How does it apply to your life?

Living in a country with over 3,500 km coastline next to the Pacific ocean, I hold a
refreshing love for our deep sea/ocean water system. So do other 89,999,999

But in 2016, an evil corporation polluted it. Formosa, a Taiwanese factory, dumped
toxic waste into the ocean area of middle Vietnam. The contaminated ocean water
travelled from the middle to the south, killing over 100 tons of fish.

(Wiki, 2016) painted a horrifying picture: The fishermen of this province had
already lost $5.2 million; in addition, the disaster also heavily impacted the tourism
industry as nearly 30% tourists canceled their planned tours to the affected
provinces for the national holiday season starting on 30 April.

Currently, this point sources of pollution, Formosa, has not been officially addressed
by the government yet. And the ripple effect is uncountable. My family, has been
indirectly affected by it in terms of food security. Our daily meal miss the taste of
fish and fish products, especially fish sauce. Weekend is less fun when we can only
drive to the ocean, and stare in utter sorrow as the red waves come...

What can we do? Besides sharing the news about it on Facebook? Besides
protesting and then being oppressed by the local police? The future is dim. No
amount of effort to clean-up the sea has been introduced.

This week, the mercury poisoning case in Minamata, Japan is what exactly is
happening right now in Vietnam. What I learned in this week filled me, not with
optimism hope, but with a sad realistic view, that the water problem we have in this
generation will take the next generation to solve.

Wiki. (2016). 2016 Vietnam Marine Life Disaster. Retrieved from Wikipedia: