Ensuring that people around the globe have regular access to clean water is the end goal of dozens of non-profit organizations (NGOs), and getting there takes a deeper understanding of the world and even water itself.

The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) contributes to this effort through its mission of advocating the conservation of soil, water and other natural resources on that land that is used to grow or produce the things needed for human survival and comfort, like food and fiber.

Technological advancements in nearly every professional sector are having the aggregate effect of increasing the global population, and it is imperative that studies in natural resource conservation keep pace with this growth. Shortages of both food and water are indicative of a longstanding problem and illustrate the critical need in this field of research.

The SWCS has been bringing scientists, researchers, educators and policymakers together since 1943 in an effort to combat the broad threat of natural resource shortages, and now has more than 5,000 members organized in 75 chapters across the United States and Canada.

Advocacy also involves reviewing the practices some of the country’s largest agricultural firms, and encouraging them to partner with environmental organizations that can further ensure their stewardship of natural resources. Agricultural giant Cargill was awarded the SWCS 2011 Merit Award for its partnership with Living Lands & Waters to reforest a portion of one of Cargill’s plant properties.

The organization provides access to research materials and publications to those who are interested in learning more about conservationism, and members have access to the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, a bimonthly multidisciplinary publication that features peer-reviewed research and articles regarding all facets of conservation.

Those who are looking for more hands-on local participation can contact their local SWCS chapter to engage in grassroots activities to share information in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of water and soil stewardship so that it may be continued to be used for generations to come.