The Changing Climate and Our Water


In the eyes of some, Mother Nature has provided us with an old fashioned midwest winter. We have experienced numerous days with subzero temperatures and an abundance of snow. But is that where the story ends? In reality, this and recent winters have not been as cold as they were in the past, and we are increasingly exposed to freeze and thaw cycles, which are evidenced by the ever growing number of potholes.

Our last growing season, and the two prior have been defined by notably wet springs, dry summers and uncertain precipitation patterns in the fall. So, with all of this variability, how do we manage our resources, and particularly, water?

I am going to provide you a list of attainable and accessible possiblities. There are certainly others to consider, but I simply wanted to give you a starting point to easily turn these options into action.

  • Do your best to keep snow and ice off of your walkways even as we grow weary of the shoveling activities.
  • Use traction grit (cherry stone) or sand on icy areas of walks and drives as opposed to salt or other forms of deicing chemicals. These options do not diminish the quality of the concrete or stone surface, are not temperature dependent or activated, and do not contribute to the rapidly increasing salt/chemical accumulations in our waterways and groundwater. And, they can (and should) be swept up in the spring for reuse the following year.
  • This spring, observe where your water is moving off of your house, garage and landscape. Then, implement at least one rain water retention or reuse option, such as a rain garden or cistern, to curb the loss and create a benefit for you and our water resources. If you do not know where to begin, contact True Nature Design for guidance. Roxanne has been managing water resources for years and is now a Master Water Steward.
  • Choose to use household, lawn and garden products with low to no residual qualities, and non-detrimental practices to maintain your home. Our water resources will benefit, as will our pollinators, and Mother Nature will certainly breath a sigh of relief!
  • Remove litter (leaves, grass clippings, fertilizers and garbage) from your streets and other outdoor spaces before it finds its way into our waterways. There truly is nothing attractive about floating garbage or the green algae cloak, which have altered many of our lakes, rivers and ponds. 

You may learn more by googling the FreshWater Society or better yet, by becoming a Master Water Steward! The experiences in the Master Water Steward Program and the connections you make will enrich and enliven you! Isn't it great to have options, which allow you to live and thrive?!

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