“National Water Quality Month is dedicated to making the most of the relatively small amount of fresh water we have, because having clean water is vital to our individual health, our collective agricultural needs, and the needs of our environment.”
The history of water quality month started with the Clean Water Act that was passed in 1972, in which the federal government began regulating water pollution and made it illegal to dump high amounts of toxic waste into bodies of water. In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed to protect the quality of groundwater and water from public water systems. In 2005, National Water Quality Month was founded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and backed by the United Nations to promote conservation of our most precocious resource, a resource we literally cannot live without.
National Water Quality Month reminds us how vital our drinking water is and how we can all play a role in protecting it. Of the total amount of water on the planet, 97% is salt water and 3% is freshwater which we need to survive. Of the 3% of freshwater accessible to us, 2% is frozen or underground leaving only 1% of the Earth’s total water usable. This water comes from lakes, rivers, groundwater, aquifers, and streams and must be treated before it is safe to drink.
Educating yourself on where your water comes from and where it goes after you use it can help motivate you and your community to keep your water sources as clean as possible. Start by reading through the Water Quality Report provided annually by Denver Water.
Besides knowing where your water comes from, there are many steps you can take in helping to protect your water sources.
- Advocate green chemistry for safer products.
- Vote for legislators and decision makers that make public health and environment their top priority.
- Contribute financially or by volunteering your time cleaning up local watersheds.
Following these steps is important not just for our benefit but to ensure high water quality for future generations. The following tip sheet provided by “Colorado Water – Live Like You Love It” lays out 14 additional ways you can contribute to protecting our most precious resource.