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Impact of mining in Arizona

The mining industry has been crucial to Arizona’s economy since the early 1800s. Minerals such as gold, silver and copper have been found in the area. The mining industry of Arizona has provided employment to a large number of people. However, mining activities have driven away indigenous populations and attacked historical sites. Additionally, there are many environmental hazards that exist during the mining process as well as after the process ends.

The public has raised concerns over mining and its harmful impact on water quality and quantity, truck traffic and road safety. Mining has also affected the soil quality due to the exposure of rocks. The generation of dust particles and emissions from smelters has affected the air quality. The drainage of acidic rocks, metals and acidic chemical disposal and the leakage in groundwater and rivers has affected the water in Arizona. Furthermore, wildlife and plant habitats have been destructed and the state has become visually displeasing for the public.

In 2005, the U. S Environmental Protection Agency stated that mining in Arizona has released over 39. 4 million pounds of toxins. Since 2004, Arizona’s 230,000 acres of public land, thanks to the 1872 Mining law, has been sold at a subsidized rate to private interests. Identify the significance of water for Arizona’s statehood and constitution. In Arizona, people either rely on water that comes from lakes, rivers and reservoirs or wells and aquifers. Mining projects have emptied creeks and streamlets.

The overall harmful effect on water estimated by the Environmental Impact Statement was 76 per cent and that too was underestimated. Rural residents of Arizona have been waiting years for another water source that could maybe replace depleting aquifers. Urban projects such as hotels and condominiums have not started because of the water supply issue. Moreover, Arizona has been facing multifaceted water quality related issues as well. Now, it is even considering brackish or ocean water as a potential drinking water source.

The biggest problem is the desalination of this water. Arizona has been active in figuring out strategies to decrease desalination.

References: • Copper mining in Arizona. (2009, April 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:06, April 25, 2009, from http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Copper_mining_in_Arizona&oldid=285890497 • Desalination, an Emerging Water Resource Issue. In The University of Arizona. Retrieved 06:07, April 25, 2009, from http://ag. arizona. edu/AZWATER/awr/mayjune03/feature1. html

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