by Jennifer Wemhoff, Program Manager
It's hot. The forecast calls for 103 in Lincoln, and we're in a heat advisory due to heat indices near 110. I feel sorry for the guys shingling my neighbor's roof today.
However, the heat wave here is nothing compared to the heat and low humidity helping to fuel the wildfires in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. There are at least 19 wildfires burning in the western U.S. today, with little relief in sight, and little containment of the raging flames.
Conversely, parts of Florida are swimming in more than 20 inches of rain dropped by Tropical Storm Debby, resulting in flooding, high winds, and even tornadoes.
Disparity like this makes me think about the "haves" and "have nots" in terms of water supply. They need the water to fight the fires in the west; they have more than they want or need in the southeast. Parts of the world have an abundant, clean supply of water at their fingertips. I'm fortunate enough to live in a place where I can turn on the tap and safe, drinkable water comes out. Other parts don't have the water availability and/or infrastructure for this luxury.
I know I can't put out the fires or bring the necessary infrastructure to those that need it simply by conserving water, but I know my efforts certainly can't hurt. As we enter the hot, dry summer months, we should all be cognizant of our water supplies, and be responsible in its use. Even if water conservation isn't mandated or even encouraged, it's still a good idea to shut off the tap when you brush your teeth, check faucets and fixtures for leaks and have them repaired, skip watering our lawns or just water our lawns in the morning or evening rather than the middle of the day, reusing rainwater to irrigate plants, and being proactive in water conservation.
What are you doing in your homes this summer to help conserve water?