Natural capital refers to natural assets that exist in the world, which include air, geology, soil, water, and every living organism. Natural capital, therefore, provides various services known as ecosystem services through which human existence is possible. The basic ecosystem services include drinking water, food, and plant materials that are used in the manufacture of medicine, fuel, and construction. There is, however, less visible ecosystems, which include natural flood defense and climate regulation facilitated by insect's crop pollination, forests, and peatlands. Just like any other part of the world, Boston also has natural capital (Sukhdev, 2017). Water is essential for the survival of every organism; this will analyze water distribution as well as disposal services in Boston.
Water is usually drawn from wetlands in Boston; hence the areas are protected, and various regulations put in place to conserve them. For example, while walking around Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, one can see various natural resources such as water, fish, and wildlife. This area is one of the wetlands in Boston; hence apart from hosting this life, it is also a good source of water. Besides, these wetlands also mitigate the effects of pollution, storm damage, and flooding. These areas are so protected in that if one wants to use any wetlands, then they must first get a permit (Walsh, 2016). Getting a permit involves the application and submission of other documents before approval.
For water to be provided to the community, it has to be filtered and deemed safe for consumption to avoid an outbreak of cholera, typhoid, and other water-related diseases. The idea of filtering water is a bit expensive, but it is necessary since there is a need for assurance to the community that the water being distributed is safe. It is a worth course since it ensures the continuous flow of clean water distributed to the Boston city residents. The importance of water cannot be overemphasized since no organism can survive without water (Bagstad et al., 2014). These reserved wetlands, as well as filtrations plants, have been serving people for a very long time and are still in good shape.
It shows how important natural capital is since they provide long-term benefits as opposed to human-made resources that are not only expensive but also whose services and benefits are short-lived. Besides, human-made capital depreciates with time, while natural capital's value appreciates with time because of increased scarcity. I like the government's idea and efforts to invest in community water distribution and disposal since it is not only a long-term project but is also very sustainable. Water disposal is as important as water treatment; hence Boston Water and Sewer Commission is responsible for transporting and collecting storm drainages and wastewaters in Boston City. Two types of systems collect wastewater, namely combined and separated (Boston Water & Sewer Commission, 2020). Separated systems are made of storm drains and sanitary sewers, while combined systems perform the dual function.
In conclusion, natural capital, if preserved and serviced well, can not only support life in the ecosystem but also is amazing to beyond. For example, any time and either walking around Boston Harbor Islands National and state park or driving through it, I can never have enough of the scenery ranging from water to the fish and all life around it. The water is amazingly distributed to thousands of residents, and the sewage is well disposed of, leaving people out of danger.
Bagstad, K. J., Villa, F., Batker, D., Harrison-Cox, J., Voigt, B., & Johnson, G. W. (2014). From theoretical to actual ecosystem services: mapping beneficiaries and spatial flows in ecosystem service assessments. Ecology and Society, 19(2). https://doi.org/10.5751/es-06523-190264
Boston Water and Sewer Commission. (2020). Sewer System. Boston Water and Sewer Commission. Retrieved February 14, 2020, from https://www.bwsc.org/environment-education/water-sewer-and-stormwater/sewer-system
Sukhdev, P. (2017). What is Natural Capital? World Forum on Natural Capital - Edinburgh 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2020, from https://naturalcapitalforum.com/about/
Walsh, M. J. (2016, July 12). How to Get a Wetlands Permit. Boston.gov. https://www.boston.gov/departments/environment/boston-conservation-commission/how-get-wetlands-permit
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