World Water Day, celebrated annually on March 22, marks the importance of water. This year's theme of "Nature for Water" draws attention to the solutions found in nature for the water challenges faced worldwide. The question posed is "How can we reduce floods, droughts and water pollution?"
Preventing floods and droughts is a long-term goal, but there are things we can do to tackle water pollution today. One of the most pressing issues is nutrient runoff from agricultural land. When it rains, chemicals, fertilizers, sediment and animal waste can be washed into streams and those streams feed into rivers, and those rivers feed into lakes. Eventually, they can find their way into drinking water supplies for small communities, towns and even big cities. Watch this recently released whiteboard animation video from AWWA about this issue.
Fortunately, there may be help in the upcoming reauthorization of the U.S. Farm Bill. This legislation could include incentives to help farmers and the water community work together to protect drinking water at its source.
This year's Drinking Water Week theme of "Protect the Source" is also in line with World Water Day's theme. Water providers will be encouraging all of us to appreciate and learn about our local water sources to protect them, like from pollution. If we get to know our local water sources, we will in a better place to preserve them for future generations.
Happy World Water Day!