HAROLD B. WOOD, M.D. PHILADELPHIA
To conserve watercourses means to retain these resources in their natural condition, or in that condition which gives the greatest safety and utility to man. The pollution of a water-supply is as unnecessary as the wanton butchering of wild animals or the reckless destruction of a forest; in either case the resource is partially or wholly obliterated, and the waste tends to destroy the available livelihood and comforts of the people. A polluted watercourse is not a natural stream.
THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF PROTECTING THE WATER-SUPPLIES. JAMA. 2009;302(13):1473. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1230