Protecting the quality of water we have available is another extremely important step in reducing our risk from drought. We may do enough to conserve the quantity of water available to us by reducing how much water we use. But if our water becomes polluted we won’t be able to use that water for our daily activities. Polluted water will also harm plants and wildlife in our environment.
Chemicals that we use in our houses or on our lawns and crops are very common pollutants. Other pollutants that can easily end up in our water are oil and gas from our cars and chemicals from businesses and mining. These pollutants get into the water supply through runoff, spills, and applying or using more chemicals than we really need.
We have many laws to protect our water supplies from chemicals used in businesses, mining, and farming, but very few (if any) laws to protect our water from the chemicals we use in our houses and cars and on our yards. So it is very important to learn about the chemicals you use to clean your house, fertilize your lawn, and run your family’s car. It’s very important to make sure they are stored in places where they won’t get spilled and that you follow the directions for their use. Only use what you need, and only when you need it.
You can also find different cleaners that are nontoxic and safer for you and our water. You can use different methods, such as composting, to fertilize the plants in your yard. You can learn more about ways to prevent pollution by using the links in our resources. Your city, extension service, or state department of environmental quality may also have information about preventing pollution.