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

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.)

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

Waterwise Wednesday: The First Flush

The First Flush is the initial stormwater runoff that picks up pollutants as it flows over surfaces. The photos below show what the first flush looks like at two Scottsbluff outfalls.


The swirl sheen indicates oil and grease washed off the roads by the stormwater runoff.
Murky gray water of the first flush carrying sediment, oils, heavy metals and other pollutants.
The clear water on top is clean groundwater that typically flows from this outfall. The murky gray water is first flush stormwater mixing with the clean groundwater as it travels to the North Platte River.

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Cost

Water is essential in the production of our food. And with greater awareness of water conservation those processes are changing our processing and consuming of food.

-Ag research looks for higher yields with less water
-Food factories develop less water intensive production methods
-Consumers shop local, eat whole/fresh foods, and reduce meat consumption

For reference, one liter equals about one quart in the graphic below.

No photo description available.

Water Wise Wednesday: Another Way to Tell Time

A drip a second from a leaky faucet sends five gallons of water down the drain in a day. An hour could be measured as 3,364 drips or about 3 3/4 cups of water.

According to the US Geological Survey, a typical drip is between 1/5 and 1/3 of one milliliter. Using 1/4 of a milliliter as an average, the USGS estimates that roughly 15,140 drips from a faucet equals one gallon of water.

In the end, it’s probably easier (and cheaper) to just set the clock ahead for Daylight Savings Time this Sunday.

Copyright: Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Water $avings

Photo © Vladimir Kindrachov

“If all U.S. households installed water-saving features, water use would decrease by 30 percent, saving an estimated 5.4 billion gallons per day. This would result in dollar-volume savings of $11.3 million per day or more than $4 billion per year.” – USGS 2015 Water Census

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Business

Water conservation ranks as a “top five” priority for the next decade for 99% of business managers surveyed according to WaterUseitWisely.com.

Try these tips and see how much your business can save:

1. Learn where your company uses water – landscape, restrooms, break rooms, and create usage goals for those areas.

2. Shut off water to unused areas to eliminate waste from leaks or unmonitored use.

4. Create a goal of how much water your company can save and publish the company’s monthly water use to show progress toward those goals.

5. Educate employees on good water habits through newsletters and posters.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos