Waterwise Wednesday: International Day for Biological Diversity

This day is dedicated to making sure all creatures not only survive, but also thrive.

In simple terms, Biodiversity refers to all the variety of life on Earth (plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms), the communities they form, and the habitats in which they live.

Biodiversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. Ecosystems with more varieties of life have greater productivity, are more resilient, and recover faster from disaster. Our food, medicine, climate stability, gene pool, and even culture (e.g., our ag/ranch based lifestyle) are all linked to biodiversity.

Photo © Stephen Adamson

Stormwater Treatment Ideas

The primary advantages of tree box filters include ease of construction and simple, cost-effective maintenance. Plant selection allows for a good blend into the environment. Maintenance is normally done with a rake and shovel to remove spent mulch and captured trash.

Waterwise Wednesday: Watershed Art

Who knew watersheds, areas of land that drain to particular rivers or streams, could be so colorful?

Robert Szucs combined his GIS (digital mapping) and art talents to create the unique, and data accurate, maps. Of course, the U.S.A. map is dominated by the Mississippi River watershed which carries water from 37 states.

To see more, click on the World Economic Forum link below:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/the-worlds-watersheds-mapped-in-gorgeous-detail/?fbclid=IwAR2Y3wsGcpJttQdRf2lguzBPIjb-TIUqgKesv6RYSDIxuB_cQGvDA6KZuvM

Waterwise Wednesday: The Ultimate Water Filter

Earth’s water cycle constantly refreshes our water supply as it travels through (the basic) phases of precipitation, evaporation, and condensation. We depend on the water cycle to bring us fresh, clean water.

Our water can only be as clean as it’s filters. Damage of soil, air, or ground surfaces also damages the filtration or renewal of water.

Greenhouse gases affects the amount, distribution, timing, and quality of available water which affects our activities like recreation (fishing, hunting, water recreation), farming, manufacturing.

Contaminants left on the surface or in the soil contaminate groundwater as it soaks through the soil, requiring additional filtration for humans to drink.

Every person can help prevent pollution, which helps keep the water cycle flowing smoothly and our water clean.

Image: NASA

Downspout Redirection

Downspouts directed towards natural areas, such as yards or flowerbeds, allow the runoff to infiltrate and be used to its full advantage. This action also helps reduce the volume of runoff and amount of pollutants that enter the storm sewer system, which get sent directly to receiving lakes and streams.

Waterwise Wednesday: Truly Green Lawn Remedies

Problem: Lawnmowers create 5% of US air pollution (EPA)

Remedy: Buffalo Grass tops out between 4-5 inches and has a growing shorter season; thus requiring less mowing.

Problem: Lawn owners use 10 times the amount of pesticides and fertilizers per acre than farmers use on their crops (National Academy of Sciences).

Remedy: Native grasses are used to drier conditions. Even traditional grasses can be trained to use less water.

Problem: Traditional grasses use more water

Remedy: Native grass species require less chemical input since they’re already adapted to succeed in our soils and climate.

Problem: Native grasses aren’t as pretty, soft, green, etc.

Remedy: Check the different types. Tatanka buffalo grass is actually used on golf courses. (Which is an activity you’ll have more time for by raising a sustainable lawn.)

Please Keep Grass Clippings Out Of Street.

It takes just as much effort to cut the grass and shoot it into your yard as it does to shoot it into the street. The difference is that it’s a GOOD THING to put it in your yard and a BAD THING to put it in the street. People notice these things.

Waterwise Wednesday: Pet Blizzard Protection

Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration. Take precautions to insure the safety of your animals and pets.

Pawprint in snow
Photo © Dmitry Maslov

– Move animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water

– Ensure their shelters can withstand wind, heavy snow and ice

– Provide access to high ground unimpeded by fencing or other barriers for when the snow and ice melt and flooding potential increases