Here are a few recent news items about drinking water, the midwestern floods of Spring 2019, and a legislative proposal (in Wisconsin) to promote hydrological restoration.
The Water Access Gap Across the United States
From the group Digdeep.org comes a report that at least 2 million Americans still don’t have running water or a toilet. This is an astounding fact that reveals a great inequality in access to basic services such as: safe drinking water; a tap, toilet, and shower in the home, and a system for removing and treating waste water.
Too Much Water is Just as Bad as Not Enough
Such is the case with the Midwestern floods of Spring 2019 in which more than one million acres flooded in five Midwestern states. Many of the flooded acres were cropland which went unplanted, resulting in many billions of dollars in lost crops and damage. Some crop fields are either full of weeds or still under water and with the already high water table, the prospects for spring 2020 don’t look good.
Read more about the Spring 2019 floods here in a story from Our Daily Planet.
The hydrological regime of an area refers to the amount, duration, and timing of water availability and how it flows and moves over, under, or around a piece of land. Basically, hydrology is the land’s “natural capacity to manage water.”
When there is discussion of an ecological restoration project, it usually has to do with restoring the plants and animals to a prairie, savanna, or woodland. Even when wetland restoration–especially of the wetland mitigation type– is planned, rarely is much thought given to the water itself or the project site’s hydrological regime.
A bill (LRB 4892/1) recently introduced into the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate aims to change that practice and to open up restoration possibilities by encouraging hydrological restoration. The Wisconsin Wetlands Association, which helped craft and strongly supports the bill, says that the bill, if enacted into legislation, would ” . . . reduce flood risks and damages, improve water quality, and benefit fish & wildlife habitat.”
For more information on the bill click here.