How YOU Can Improve the Quality of Drinking Water

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Recycling and conservation awareness are just two examples of important environmental steps to preserving our planet. There are many other environmental conservation efforts that are just as important. The bottom line, however, is that focus on preserving the planet is very important. Recycling and other environmentally friendly actions are important for the following reasons.

To protect our water supply
You would think, by looking at the planet, that we should have a sufficient water supply. This, however, is not the case. Much of the planet?s water is not consumable. A lot of it is contaminated or is stuck in ice caps. Additionally, of the water that is available, much of it is not safe for consumption. About a quarter of all U.S. rainwater becomes groundwater. Groundwater, or surface water, provides much of the flow of many streams. Many scientists look at the lakes and streams as windows to the water table. Currently, these windows do not show a good picture.

The windows of our water supply
Researching further into these water supplies with tools like geotechnical devices and aerial surveying, civil engineering professionals have found that a large percentage of the water supply is contaminated. This contamination comes from two sources mostly. The first source is large manufacturing and industry plants. They either consciously or unknowingly are dumping waste into the local water sources. Because the planet?s water sources are all connected, this affects drinking water sources also. The other source is the everyday person, the you and me. By not paying attention to water conservation and recycling efforts, we are further harming the planet?s water supply.

The impactful pollution problem
The surface water problem might be even larger than you realize. Water quality reports by environmental engineering professionals indicate that 45% of U.S. streams, 47% of lakes, and 32% of bays are polluted. This means that a significant percentage of our limited water supply is currently polluted. Additionally, if nothing changes, these numbers will only increase and we will soon be facing an even bigger water supply problem.

Specific steps that you can do
Of course, when large manufacturing plants and industries dump harmful contaminants into the water supply, it has a much greater impact than the single person. However, when millions of single people do not practice environmentally safe habits, the effect is similar to that of larger manufacturing plants. You can do your part by preserving the amount of water you use. Don?t leave the faucet on when you are not using it. Don?t overwater your lawn. Avoid running the shower when no one is in it.

Additionally, the products that you choose to use on a daily basis can have an effect on the water supply. Americans currently use 2.2 billion pounds of pesticides every year, which eventually washes into our rivers and lakes. When you use large amounts of pesticides or other harmful products, they eventually wash into the surface water. Large amounts of pesticides in surface water can negatively affect the groundwater for many years to come.

The planet has a diminishing supply of fresh water that is safe for consumption. With both manufacturing industries and single humans dumping contaminants into the water supply on a regular basis, we are lucky to have any safe drinking water available today. People both at the commercial and the single person level can make changes to improve the overall surface water quality.