Water Stewardship Program

| 4/17/2011 11:38:27 PM

 Earth Day is right around the corner, and many of us are already striving to live in a more sustainable way, and understand how our actions affect the planet and future generations. 

Kalamazoo River 

 I consider myself “green-minded,” to include water conservation and water stewardship.  Instead of bottled water, we fill reusable containers with tap water, and only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.  I don’t fertilize my lawn out of concern run-off will get into the creek on my property, which flows directly into Lake Michigan.  Shoot - I don’t even water the lawn, letting it go dormant in the hottest months.  I include elements of xeriscaping in much of my landscape, and we have a rain barrel to water all the potted plants and flower boxes.  We could use 2 or 3 more barrels, actually, for use in the vegetable garden.  Yes, there is always room for improvement, but I thought I was doing pretty well.  Then I took a water conservation survey, and received a paltry score of 65 out of 100 possible points (a couple of aging vehicles, and my and my teenage daughter’s penchant for long, hot showers are downfalls).  The survey labeled me “olive green.”

I don’t consider olive green to be a particularly pretty color.  Obviously, some changes are needed, so I decided to take an on-line training program in water stewardship.

The survey and the training program are offered on a website developed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and both the Eaton and Van Buren Conservation Districts.  The aim of Michigan Water Stewardship Program is to improve local water quality and to protect the Great Lakes, but is applicable to anyone anywhere interested in having a better understanding about how to conserve and safeguard water.  Stating that “everyone can’t do everything, but everyone can do something,” the site presents simple changes and steps that any homeowner can make to benefit our world’s water supply.

Stormy Lake Michigan 

Cindy Murphy
5/1/2011 9:44:47 PM

Thanks for commenting, Stepper. I’m learning a thing or two I didn’t know about watersheds from the on-line classes so far. The lessons are nice because they only take about five minutes at a time – not too hard to squeeze in that amount of time rather than trying to find time for longer but fewer lessons. Thanks for the tip about Word – that is one thing I already knew; I use the word count a lot. It’s the character count in the comment section here that threw me. Dave took the time to convert a word count to character count based on an average word length – I didn’t, and I bet you can guess why. Back-pedaling for a bit to reference my last topic here, it’s due to something I find even more vulgar than Lil Wayne’s lyrics, if that's possible. Math! Pfft!

Chris Davis
5/1/2011 1:07:25 PM

Hi Cindy! Spring is a good time for this blog. Unfortunately, where I am the spring rains didn't show up and my neighbors are in areas where the drought is labeled exceptional. It makes you aware of how valuable water is when water rights are major issues in property sales. Also, if you are using Word, the count or its display are usually a sub option of the Tools menu.

Cindy Murphy
4/20/2011 9:55:36 PM

Thank you, Mountain Woman, for your kind comments. I just believe, as I'd bet you and Mountain Man do, that we have a responsibility to do what we can, and never stop learning what else we can do.

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