Go ahead – imagine a day without water.
It’s easy to think of terrible examples — hospitals, schools, firefighting companies. Devastating. But imagine closer to home: you wake up and that first glass of water isn’t there. Neither is the shower, no brushing your teeth. No tea or coffee. And that’s just the first 45 minutes. And the day would only get worse.
We take our clean water for granted. Each time we need it, it’s there. But the reality is that abundant clean water is at risk. It is threatened by sewage overflows, contaminated stormwater discharges, polluted runoff from poor agricultural practices, mining waste, industrial pollution and more. And many of those problems are exacerbated by climate change. It is particularly disheartening to see our own government abdicating its responsibility to protect our clean water through its attempt to weaken the rules which have improved our waterways over the last decades. In the 1960s, President Johnson called the Potomac River a national disgrace and urged us to have the will to make the river swimmable again. While there is more yet to do, with your help, we are making progress, at last.
All across the country today, our fellow citizens are mobilizing to recognize the importance of clean water and the risk we run by our continued complacency about its protection.
Join them by taking some action.
Write or call your legislators; remind them that you are a committed voter and that you will be voting for clean water this year. Conserve your water, and teach a young, or old, person to do the same. (Plus, try to make conserving water a habit rather than a one-off event.) Think carefully about the products you buy and use — what is the impact of the refuse created by them when they get into our water sources.
I grew up in the headwaters of the beautiful Shenandoah River, and I have made a career out of protecting water, both for drinking and for recreation. It’s important to me, just as I know it’s important to you. Share that word and that passion so that we pass to our future generations the gift of clean water.