Earth Day is once again nearly upon us. If you're looking for ways to take action to protect the earth, look no further than protecting your groundwater.
Groundwater is an important part of the water cycle. Nearly half of the U.S. uses it as drinking water, and it's an important component of agriculture and helping feed the world. Groundwater is the environmental bottom line - everything that happens on the surface of the earth can end up in groundwater.
So this Earth Day, think about changes you can make in your every day life to help protect and conserve groundwater. Here are some ideas:
1. Learn more. Find out more about your drinking water source. See if it's groundwater, surface water, or a combination of the two. If you have a private well, find out the last time the well water was tested.
2. Check out current protection efforts. See what might already be happening in your community. Find out if there's a wellhead protection plan in place or a Groundwater Guardian team. (If there's no team in your community, now's a great time to get one together)
3. Conserve water throughout your home. Limit showers to 5 minutes, only run full loads of dishes and laundry, check for leaky water fixtures and repair them, don't let the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving.
4. Conserve water in your yard. Only water plants when necessary, and use drought-tolerant plants. Add mulch to flower beds and around trees to retain water. When watering your lawn, water deeply, but infrequently. If you have a sprinkler system, add a rain sensor.
5. Manage chemicals responsibly. Be sure to follow label instructions when applying fertilizer and pesticides to your yard. Always dispose of leftover paints, oils, and other chemicals properly and NEVER dump them onto the ground.
6. Tell others. Get your neighbors on board with making changes to their watering practices, talk with your office mates about ways to reduce water use in the office, recruit Green Sites in your community, and get things started in your community.
Groundwater is important. So on Earth Day, and every day, let's keep it clean!