NEWS NOTES ON SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCESEVALUATING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACThttps://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1971/0645/report.pdf“Man cannot survive on ...NEWS NOTES ON SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCES
EVALUATING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
“Man cannot survive on this planet without utilizing its natural resources prudently. Every human action affects the world around us in some degree and the full effect is difficult to assess because of complex relations among living and nonliving things. Under the circumstances one can neither expect to restore the entire past nor preserve the entire present for future generations. However all can and should strive for proper balance between resource development and maintenance of pleasant surroundings.”
“The Environmental Quality Act of 1969 and the reports on environmental assessment that it requires are aimed at insuring such a balanced approach. To be effective we must provide a system for relating large numbers of actions and environmental factors and for placing value judgments on impacts which are difficult to quantify. The Geological Survey has developed an information matrix system that is described and modeled in this Circular. It is published with the thought that it will serve as a useful guide for environmental impact reporting and as a systematic reference. Those who share with us the desire to retain or improve the quality of our environment will recognize that this report is a sincere but still preliminary effort to fill an interim need.”
“We hope that suggestions from others will improve this framework.”
Although this is an older approach to such evaluation, sometimes it is beneficial to revisit the origin of changes in scientific thinking. By now there are many more recent approaches and documentation, many relying on computer techniques. This document is one of the sources of ongoing analysis, and is offered in that light.