Sunday, March 22, 2009

Clean Water

Photo of sunset of Lake Erie, from Catawba Island

Earth has been called the "watery planet", and indeed 74% of its surface is covered in water. However, only 3% of it is classified as fresh water. Once you consider underground water and soil moisture account for 22% , while fresh water stored as ice is calculated at 77% -and declining everyday, that leaves us with a precious 1% of fresh water.

In Ohio we too often take this "gift of life" for granted. With Lake Erie's bounty to our north and reservoirs spotted throughout the state, we give little consideration to our liquid assets. We ego-centric humans have always touted blood as the gift of life, but without freshwater, life as we know it would soon come to a screeching halt.

Turning on a faucet in mid-Ohio is so easy, one never registers the rarity of this natural resource. If you lived in Arizona or Florida and endured water rationing and watering bans, the concept becomes a bit clearer. On a global perspective, many still carry water for miles for that life giving sustenance of human, livestock and agricultural needs.

Plants, butterflies, birds, fish, humans- we all need clean water. Take a moment to ponder this gift of life and reconsider your choices. Do you need to use that chemical on your lawn? Is agricultural run off impacting our streams and rivers? Can parking lot residuals creep into our waterways? Protect and conserve our water- learning about Rain Gardens is one step in the right direction.

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