Waterwise Wednesday: National Rivers Month

North Platte River at Scottsbluff July 2019 by L. Sato

We celebrate U.S. rivers and their benefits throughout June.
– Like the Missouri River, the country’s longest at 2,500 miles
– the Mississippi River, the widest, 11 miles across at one point in Minnesota.
– and Nebraska’s 79,056 miles of river

One out of every three people gets their drinking water from a river or stream in the United States. And nationally we spend about $97 billion annually on river-related recreation and tourism.

Drinking water and recreation are two reasons to protect water quality by picking up after your pet, using fertilizers sparingly, and properly disposing of trash.

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: Blowing in the Wind

System 001, or Wilson, in the Pacific Ocean. Photo courtesy of the Ocean Cleanup

Wilson, the innovative giant ocean garbage collector by The Ocean Cleanup, set sail September 2018. Click here to view an update on the project.

Remember, despite Wilson’s efforts, the best way to remove plastic from water is to prevent it from entering waterways in the first place. Avoid single use plastics when possible and properly recycle or dispose of plastics that must be used.

https://youtu.be/RcRIE98y_UM