Shout Out to Water!

Today is Groundwater Protection Day, so, I’m taking you on a deep (and dorky) dive into one of my favorite topics: H 2 the izz-O! (Did I mention dorky?)

But I can’t just celebrate groundwater, because…. ahem, the WATER CYCLE! (I could insert the diagram, but I know that’s not why you’re here.) Let’s just say that thanks to Mother Nature’s built-in recycling process, all the water on the planet has always been and always will be the same water. The stream water that a triceratops drank (and peed) is the same water that you drink (and pee). So it’s all connected.

Global Freshwater Volume_USGS

All the water that has been on Earth may be the same throughout time, but only a small fraction of that water is freshwater that we can drink. The largest ball on this map represents all the water on Earth. The medium-sized ball contains all the liquid freshwater, so everything not frozen in glaciers and icebergs. Groundwater makes up 99% of that ball. The other 1% is water found in rivers and lakes, which is represented by the smallest ball. (Image by the USGS.)

And because of where water flows along its journey through the recycling process, and how happy it is to bring the harmful chemicals it meets along the way, water can expose you to a lot of different health risks. Just look at the headlines. Flint, MI residents will be dealing with the physical and emotional legacy of the lead found in their water for years to come. And Florida residents are seeking medical attention from the toxic blue-green algae that is feeding on the fertilizers people put on their grass and crops, which the rain carried into creeks, canals, and lakes.

While Maryland isn’t immune to drinking water risks and beach closures, we have been relatively lucky, which makes it easy for us to take clean water for granted. But just think about all the most essential things you do in your morning routine alone—almost every step relies on water:

  • Bladder relief (Check!)
  • Coffee (Check!)
  • Shower (Check!)
  • Brush teeth (Check!)
  • Clean clothes (Check!)
  • Breakfast (Check! No matter what you eat, water is a major contributor to getting that food and drink on your plate.)
  • Put dishes in the dishwasher (Eventually, check!)

And I haven’t even included how much water goes into making the products and electricity you used do all those things.

I mean, come on! How miserable would you feel if you couldn’t do all those things so easily? So take this moment to dork out with me about water. And then take some steps to keep our water clean and use it wisely.

Children with a water glass

Cheers to you, H2O!

You can start here:

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