Water is essential for life on Earth. March 22 is World Water Day — a day to focus awareness on the value of water and the stressors to our water supplies globally. More than 2 billion people do not have easy access to clean water. We all can do our part to protect this critical resource. Simple steps we can take include conserving water and preventing water pollution.
The World Water Day theme this year asks “What is the value of water to you in your home, workplace or school?”
Ways to Help Keep Streams, Rivers and Ponds Clean:
- Sweep grass clippings and lawn care products back onto the lawn.
- Pick up litter.
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash.
- Absorb and clean up any auto fluid spills.
- Recycle used motor oil.
- Sweep driveways clean instead of hosing them down.
- When walking your pet remember to pick up the waste.
- Prevent debris, chemicals and waste from entering storm drains — only rain should go down storm drains.
- Adjust sprinklers to avoid over watering (if any water flows off your lawn, you’re using too much water).
- Compost food waste and avoid letting solids, medicines or other chemicals go down the sink drain or disposal. Anything going down drains goes into the water treatment system. Even with treatment, drinking water will still have small amounts of properties put into it, even if at “safe” levels.
Check out these websites about rain gardens, rain barrels and clean water:
Water-themed activities for kids:
Water Fun Facts (Source: EPA)
- There is the same amount of water on Earth as there was when the Earth was formed. The water from your faucet could contain molecules that dinosaurs drank.
- Water is composed of two elements, Hydrogen and Oxygen. 2 Hydrogen + 1 Oxygen = H2O.
- Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs — all its agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs.
- Water regulates the Earth’s temperature. It also regulates the temperature of the human body, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, and removes wastes.
- 75% of the human brain is water and 75% of a living tree is water.
- A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water.
- Water is part of a deeply interconnected system. What we pour on the ground ends up in our water, and what we spew into the sky ends up in our water.
- The average total home water use for each person in the U.S. is about 50 gallons a day.
- The average cost for water supplied to a home in the U.S. is about $2.00 for 1,000 gallons, which equals about 5 gallons for a penny.
- Water expands by 9% when it freezes. Frozen water (ice) is lighter than water, which is why ice floats in water.
Be Hydro-Logical (Source: EPA)
- FACT: More water is used in the bathroom than any other place in the home.
ACTION: Turn off the water when you brush your teeth and shave. Install low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucet aerators and you’ll save thousands of gallons/liters of water a year. It’s a savings that should reduce your water bill.
- FACT: Today there are many more people using the same amount of water we had 100 years ago.
ACTION: Don’t waste water. Use it wisely and cut back wherever you can.
- FACT: A dripping faucet can waste up to 2,000 gallons/7,600 liters of water a year. A leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons/260 liters of water a day.
ACTION: Check your plumbing and repair any leaks as soon as possible.
- FACT: What’s dumped on the ground, poured down the drain, or tossed in the trash can pollute the sources of our drinking water.
ACTION: Take used motor oil and other automotive fluids to an automotive service center that recycles them. Patronize automotive centers and stores that accept batteries for recycling. Take leftover paint, solvents, and toxic household products to special collection centers.
- FACT: On average, 50% – 70% of household water is used outdoors for watering lawns and gardens.
ACTION: Make the most of the water you use outdoors by never watering at the hottest times of the day or when it’s windy. Turnoff your sprinklers when it’s raining. Plant low-water use grasses and shrubs to reduce your lawn watering by 20% – 50%.
- FACT: Your city government and state officials regularly make decisions that affect the quality of your drinking water resources.
ACTION: As the population grows and housing and industrial interest expand, attend local planning and zoning meetings and ask what’s being done to protect water resources from contamination. Let elected officials know that you expect them to use their hydro-logic to protect the water.
City of Dublin Water Quality Monitoring
Water Quality Monitoring volunteers utilize a kit provided by the City to visit Dublin streams where water test equipment has been installed to take readings using an app on their phones as well as conducting a pH test, taking temperature and a few other data points. Training is provided on the purpose of the monitoring, how the tools work and how to collect the data and upload it using the app.
Water Quality Monitoring is a way for us to track problems or pollutants in Dublin waterways. At this time, our streams our fairly clean. The biggest stressor to our waterways is yard waste — too much nutrients (grass clippings and leaves) that enter the storm drains or wash into streams and ponds. Decomposing yard waste in water reduces oxygen and causes algae. Dublin has an extensive yard waste education and pick up system!
If you would like to become a Water Quality Monitoring volunteer, apply online today!