How You Can Preserve Water Quality and Quantity

by Daniel Weber, Ph.D
Water is vital to human survival, and therefore it is one of our most precious resources. Protecting the quantity and quality of water should be as obvious as protecting our loved ones, since we all depend on water to live. This is achievable by advocating for effective enforcement of current anti-pollution legislation and sustainable plans for residential and commercial construction. Additionally, you can protect watersheds and their resources by conserving water during simple daily actions:
1. Household Actions

  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face. It can save up to 9 gallons each day.
  • Only use washing machines and dishwashers when you have a full load.
  • Compost your food scraps instead of washing them down the sink.
  • When washing, including for al netilas yadai’im, consider how much water you are using. Don’t overdo it.

2. Consumer Actions

  • Stop buying bottled water and use tap water (with filter, if needed)-bottled water contributes to the depletion of groundwater and the streams and lakes to which they are connected.
  • Avoid using anti-bacterial soaps-they are no safer than regular soap and they contribute to the development of resistant strains of bacteria that degrade our water quality.
  • Use biodegradable and non-toxic household products.

3. Yard/Outdoor Actions

  • Never put anything (e.g., leaves, lawn clippings) down storm sewers-they can empty directly into lakes and streams.
  • Minimize or eliminate the use of salt on your sidewalks and driveways, or use a sand/salt mixture if you can’t chop the ice or shovel the snow.
  • Native, deep-rooted plants make for a great garden and you will be amazed by the limited amount of water they use.

4. Car and Boat Actions

  • Properly dispose of automobile and boat fluids, e.g., oil, windshield washer fluids.
  • Use car washes that pump their water to a treatment plant instead of washing your car in the driveway because the soap goes into storm drains and then into our lakes and streams.

¬†Originally posted in “On Eagles’ Wings” May 3rd 2004¬†