For years, ‘green’ has been the buzz word for all environmentally friendly practices. But recently, attention has zeroed in on water resources, and with good reason. Environmental and economic experts predict that by 2050, more than half of the world’s population and economy will be located in areas which will experience severe long term water shortages, placing human health, food supplies, and economies at risk. Whether you buy into these predictions or not, the western US recently experienced a drought which already has cost states, businesses and residents billions of dollars. Here in Alabama, we are fortunate to average 54 inches of rain each year, but even we have gone through periods of drought that greatly reduced our water supply and restricted its use.
Water quantity isn’t the only issue that we are facing – water quality is an equally important matter. That abundant rainfall we usually experience picks up pollutants from the ground and washes them into rivers, creeks, lakes and streams. In fact, stormwater runoff is the #1 source of pollution in US waterways. Just like water scarcity, the availability of clean fresh water is also a health and economic issue. So it really makes sense to implement practices that protect our rivers, creeks, lakes and streams from polluted runoff and other sources of pollution. The top two practices to consider are reducing the amount of stormwater that leaves your yard (consider planting a tree, installing a rain barrel, using pavers instead of concrete for walkways) and preventing pollutants from coming in contact with stormwater (like following package directions when using yard chemicals, picking up after your pet, fixing any vehicle drips).
Adopting these and other easy practices can help make our future blue.