The Most Important Thing

World Water Day

Sometimes, the most important things are those we take for granted. Take the clean, clear water flowing from the kitchen faucet. We turn a tap and drinkable fresh water pours into our glasses. But nearly two billion people don’t have access to safe drinking water. And for those of us who do, it isn’t guaranteed. Pollution, overuse and climate change are three factors threatening access to drinking water worldwide.

World Water Day reminds us of the importance of water quality and quantity and our responsibility to protect it. It’s not just about protecting lakes, rivers and streams, but also our less visible groundwater aquifers.

Groundwater is the source of nearly all of our freshwater and is critical for sustaining life. Recharged by rain and snowmelt, it feeds our drinking water wells, rivers and wetlands. Drinking water wells draw from aquifers that hold groundwater. A single aquifer can supply many households with water. Protecting water quality and water quantity is therefore a shared responsibility.

Four simple actions

Here are four simple actions you can take to protect groundwater for your family, your community and ultimately the world:

  1. Simply use less by fixing leaks, installing a low-flow showerhead and planting drought-tolerant native plants to reduce using water for landscaping.
  2. Upgrade your well and properly seal abandoned wells to prevent surface water contaminants from reaching groundwater aquifers.
  3. Reduce water pollution by using less de-icing salt, avoiding fertilizers, picking up after your pet and washing your car at car washes (rather than in your driveway).
  4. Test your well water three times a year to identify contamination concerns early. Public Health Ontario provides free testing for bacteria like E. coli and coliforms. If you suspect chemical contamination has occurred, contact a private testing laboratory.

Contact our stewardship team to learn more about ways you can protect water quality on your property. Learn about funding opportunities for well upgrades and decommissioning.

Your Countryside Stewardship Team

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