I spent summer vacation enjoying the clear (11.3 meters with a Secchi disk), clean, and cold (at least most years) waters of Lake George in Upstate New York. The Lake benefits from large groundwater inputs, but is threatened by invasive plants and animals, and contaminants introduced by people. Excess nutrients, and those “micropollutants” I mentioned in the last letter are likely entering the Lake from septic systems and direct inputs from “bathers”.
Human impacts on lakes, rivers, and groundwater are a universal issue. From high altitude ponds in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the River Ganges in India we both revere and taint our precious water resources. Educating the public about the ways that contaminants enter the water may be the best way to limit our impact to these sensitive systems. Properly maintaining septic systems, preventing runoff from construction sites, bringing unused medications to “drug take-back” events instead of flushing them, limiting applications of pesticides near water bodies, wearing a swim shirt and using less sunscreen while swimming, using dye and fragrance free detergents, and skipping the cologne before kayaking are among the things that we can do to limit our own personal “chemical footprint”. Supporting the development of sound infrastructure related to the delivery of water and the removal of wastewater also is critical. It may not be as catchy as the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, but I hope we can be as passionate about a call to policy makers to “Upgrade Our Sewage Treatment Plants”.
Finally, here is a brief summary of the July AWRA Board of Directors conference call. We reviewed and approved AWRA’s tax returns, 2012 updated budget, and employee handbook updates. We heard progress reports on current finances, membership, the AWRA Interdisciplinary Practice award, and the AWRA Integrated Water Resources Management Certification proposal; and from the Compelling Vision, Technical Committees, Webinar, Electronic Outreach, Mentoring, and Internships Task Forces. Also we discussed AWRA collaboration with the US Water Partnership and the Canadian Water Resources Association.
Two more nominations for the AWRA list of points of Hydrologic Interest.
Cub Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado – It is a moderate hike in, but well worth it according to P. Bradley who took the photo above.
Clear Creek in Golden, Colorado – There is great kayaking when the flow is high, great tubing when the flow is lower, and it is even better just after a tour of the Coors Brewery.
2012 AWRA President
- August 2012 AWRA President’s Message I just finished with the AWRA Specialty Conference on Contaminants...
- July 2012 AWRA President’s Message Sure it’s fun! But skiing the last of the snowpack...
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