How will the 31% budget cuts to the EPA affect our country’s drinking water?
An order of review of the “Clean Water Rule” will likely cut protections for smaller streams and wetlands.
According to Scientific American, “Wetlands do an excellent job of filtering out pollutants. As an example, bacteria in wetlands remove nutrients like nitrates from agricultural fertilizer run off, which prevents the contamination from living down stream.” Thus, affecting larger bodies of water, which are reservoirs for much of our water supplies .
Cuts to the National Forest Service can put our watersheds at risk. Forested areas are crucial to infiltration of ground water. Much of our nation’s water supply is from well water, dependent on natural filtering. Runoff caused by development and deforestation would directly affect water quality from increased pollutants entering larger bodies of water.
The Clean Water Act protects major water bodies like large streams, rivers, bays and other coastal waters, along with streams and wetlands that flow into them from being destroyed or polluted—or, at least, not polluted without federal oversight. It covers a large range of pollutants, including sewage, garbage, biological and radioactive materials, and industrial and agricultural waste.
States need the EPA as backup to costs of programs that study, monitor, and write policies that protect our nation’s water supplies. The Federal government, with the clean water act of the 1970s and its amendments, need to remain in tact for the health and welfare of our nation.
The theme of ARCSA’s 12th annual conference, set for December in Las Vegas, NV, will highlight reinventing water supplies.
The Mission of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world.
The conference and expo will be filled with learning and buying opportunities and will be held at the convention center in conjunction with conferences for the Irrigation and Groundwater Associations.
Visit the ARCSA conference registration page for more information.
RainBank’s leader, Ken Blair, is an accredited ARCSA Professional, Inspector Specialist, Designer / Installer and Life Member, a Pacific Coastal Regional ARCSA representative and advisor to its education committee. Ken is tapped by architects, engineers, government agencies and related professional associations to provide lectures or participate on expert panels to discuss Rainwater Collection Systems design and builds.
RainBank is also the Northwest region distributor for Contain Water Tanks, which are backed with an unmatched 20-year warranty.
Can Rainwater Collection Protect Water Supplies?
As mentioned in Ken Blair’s previous article, rainwater collection for residential and commercial construction helps protect our water supplies by using rainwater for irrigation, toilet facility, and other uses.
For example, the city of Federal Way, WA uses a rainwater collection system for its school maintenance facility. It collects rainwater for washing its school bus fleet, and during the summer, the collected water is used for irrigation.
In Harvesting Nature’s Supply, ARCSA (American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association) board member, Neal Shapiro writes about a city library using rainwater collection for toilet flushing, Santa Monica’s first municipal building to implement rooftop rainwater harvesting for indoor use.
Shapiro, watershed management program coordinator for the Office of Sustainability and the Environment for the city of Santa Monica, CA, goes on to document the library’s rainwater harvesting system, showing how rainwater can be collected on site for non-potable use in a commercial setting. This approach promotes the use of “local water resources and local self-sufficiency; reduces dependence on imported potable water, which benefits distant watersheds by keeping more water there; and reduces negative impacts from stormwater, which carries numerous pollutants to Santa Monica Bay”.
To read the full article, published on eStormwater.com, please click here.