[1THING] Blog: Posts Tagged ‘water’

[ Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation ]

In 2015, San Diego WON the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge and we’d like to retake our crown! The contest this year starts on April 1 and ends April 30, encouraging San Diego residents to sign up in order to save or conserve water. To sign up and read more about this, go to Wylandfoundation.org.

Residents from more than 4,800 cities across the United States took part in the 2017 Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, April 1-30, by pledging todreamstime_s_62758794 save over 2.2 billion gallons of water over the next year. The annual month-long campaign to promote drought resiliency and water quality ended on April 30 with mayors from 38 states vying to see whose city could be the nation’s most “water wise.”

The cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges during the campaign , including our very own San Diego, CA are Laguna Beach, Calif., Flagstaff, Ariz., Athens, Ga, Aurora, Colo., and Dallas, Texas. Overall, residents around the nation, from Anchorage to the Florida Keys, made 421,891 pledges to change behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into local rivers and streams.

The challenge, presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S EPA, National League of Cities, The Toro Company, Earth Friendly Products – maker of ECOS, and Conserva Irrigation, addresses the growing importance of educating consumers about the many ways they use water.

“This year’s challenge took a hard look at things we can all do to reduce our impact on our lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands,” said marine life artist Wyland, who founded the Wyland Foundation in 1993. “The more we can do to reduce harmful runoff into our water systems, the more we can provide long-term sustainable benefits to our communities.”

 

 

[ Permanent Water Use Restrictions in San Diego ]

The lack of water in San Diego is no joke. Sure we have warm beach weather, but the reality of San Diego drying up isdreamstime_s_69230872 far too real.  It’s always a good idea to refresh yourself with way you can conserve our much needed water.

The city of San Diego website has very specific water conservation guidelines.

  • Customers shall not wash down sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, or other paved areas without using a power washer or a hose with a shutoff nozzle.  Washing any paved areas is only allowed to alleviate immediate safety or sanitation hazards.  Water shall be collected and prevented from leaving the property and entering the municipal separate storm sewer system.
  • Customers shall not overfill swimming pools and spas.
  • Customers shall not use non-recirculating potable water in ornamental fountains or cascading fountains.
  • Customers shall not use a hose that dispenses potable water to wash a motor vehicle, except where the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle or device attached to it that causes it to cease dispensing water immediately when not in use.

Visit the City of San Diego website for more ways you can save our precious water.

 

[ Green Your Tea During Hot Tea Month ]

HotTea-dreamstime_s_15742900January is National Hot Tea Month. To celebrate, here are a few tips to green your brew from the Sierra Club:

Buy loose-leaf tea: Opt for loose leaf tea over disposable tea bags, which use carbon-intensive packaging materials. Many tea bags also contain polypropylene mesh, which can take several years to degrade. Additionally, bagged tea is often machine processed, producing a larger carbon footprint than loose leaf tea, which tends to be hand-picked. If you do purchase tea bags, make sure they’re biodegradable and unbleached. Avoid bags with staples, strings, or tags.

Minimize your water footprint: Only pour enough water to fill your cup to avoid wasting energy boiling what you won’t drink anyway. If it’s safe, use local tap water to brew your tea.

Cold-brew your iced tea: It not only tastes sweeter and smoother than traditional hot-brewed iced tea, but it spares the energy needed to boil your water, relying mainly on an already-running appliance—your refrigerator.  To cold-brew your own iced tea, add about 1.5 times the amount of tea you’d normally use to a pitcher. Pour in cold water, add a lid, and let sit in the fridge for about 4-10 hours. White teas, green teas, and flat oolongs need less time to sit, while rolled oolongs require more time. Herbal infusions and black teas usually need to sit the full ten hours. Strain and enjoy.

Repurpose tea leaves: Most of us know to reuse tea leaves or tea bags for our next cup of tea, but their use extends beyond the kitchen. The high nitrogen content in tea leaves makes them the perfect plant food, which does double duty by helping repel insects and other pests. When transferring a plant to a pot, line the bottom of the pot with used tea bags before adding soil. The tea bags will help retain water and release nutrients into the potting medium.  Dried tea leaves also make fantastic deodorizers. Toss some in the litter box or dog house to remove pet odors. For all-over freshness, sprinkle and gently crush some dried leaves over your carpet. Wait about 10 minutes, then vacuum.

Choose eco-friendly labels: As you would with coffee, buy brands labeled “USDA organic” and “Fair Trade Certified.” To earn the USDA’s organic seal, farmers must not have used synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers for at least three years. Meanwhile, although fair trade certification primarily ensures that farmers are paid a just price for their crop, it also has environmental side effects. In return for providing good working conditions and fair wages, producers get paid more for their tea. As a result, famers need less land to support themselves and their families, leaving more land available for natural habitat.

[ A Sustainable Solution To Water Supply Challenges ]

Because San Diego lacks a local drinking water source, we import 85% of our water from the Colorado River and Northern California Bay Delta. Due to that and droughts, San Diego falls victim to rising water costs from dreamstime_s_40503571wholesalers. The cost of water has tripled over the last 15 years and does not show signs of dropping. In fact it is currently getting even higher. What do we do? We obviously need water to live.

The city of San Diego has launched Pure Water San Diego. This is a program to help manage our own existing water supply and uses advanced water purification technologies to recycle wastewater into safe, high-quality drinking water. In essence it’s basically recycling our own water…how brilliant is that? Although this is a remarkable step forward in water preservation, reaching the goal of producing approximately one-third of San Diego’s water supply by 2035 isn’t a cheap endeavor. The bill for just the first phase is a healthy $1.2 billion.

To read the rest of this article from Brookings…CLICK HERE. 

[ Help Save Endangered Sea Turtles ]

dreamstime_s_17043206Extinction is not a new concept.

In fact, species have been going extinct for millions of years from geological and climate changes. The issue now is from overconsumption, pollution, and habitat destruction brought on by humans causing more species to needlessly become extinct.

So why should we care about sea turtles extinction in particular?

For starters, sea turtles help maintain the health of sea grass by eating it. Healthy sea grass allows other oceanic species such as crustaceans, fish, and shellfish to be able to breed. This would impact a huge source of food for humans.

In addition, when sea turtles lay eggs in dunes, the shells and unhatched eggs left behind provide nutrients that facilitate vegetation growth. This strengthens the beach’s ecosystem as a whole and helps prevent erosion.

So help save sea turtles around the world by donating or purchasing some adorable sea turtle pillows here:

http://costaricaturtles.com/how-to-help/

Donation not enough for you? You can always become an alliance partner!

For more information, visit: http://costaricaturtles.com/

[ San Diego Coastkeeper Releases 2016 Water Quality Report ]

WaterQuality-dreamstimeSAN DIEGO, August 1, 2017— This week, San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization protecting and restoring San Diego County’s fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, published its 2016 San Diego County Water Quality Report. The organization’s data show an overall improvement in San Diego’s water quality for the first time since 2013.

“This is great news. Of course, a single year of overall better water quality readings does not mean San Diego’s water will keep improving. It takes many years for patterns to emerge,” says San Diego Coastkeeper Lab Manager Meredith Meyers. “That’s why our long-term water monitoring is so crucial. We can provide decision-makers with the big picture and that makes for more effective, data-based policy.”

Urban runoff continues to be the largest factor impacting people’s ability to safely fish and swim in San Diego County. Rain takes pollution from the surfaces of our streets into our storm drains, where it travels through to our rivers and streams and ultimately, to the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the overwhelming majority of San Diego’s waterways fail to the meet water quality standards that make them safe for recreation.

Though the cause of last year’s improved results can’t be directly identified, and Coastkeeper scientists caution against giving too much credit to any one theory, there are a few ideas about why water quality looked a little better in 2016.

“Temporary water conservation regulations, implemented in response to the drought, may have helped water quality improve. When San Diegans prioritize conservation over lush lawns, reduced fertilizer use and fewer lawn sprinklers overflowing onto sidewalks means less pollution washing from the street into our rivers and streams,” says Meyers. “It’s impossible to know for sure, but it’s one idea that makes sense.”

San Diego Coastkeeper collects monthly water quality data from across the County through its volunteer-powered Water Quality Monitoring program. The program, which is the largest of its kind in California, trains citizen scientists to collect vital water quality data to fill gaps and increase the amount of publically available data.. In 2016, 152 trained volunteers gave a collective 1,908 hours.

“Our Water Quality Monitors are more dedicated than ever. Participation was so consistent last year we were able to reduce the number of new volunteers we needed to bring on board to maintain the program,” says Meyers. “The dedication of our trained monitors has allowed us to put even more resources straight into the monitoring itself, and has improved the program as a whole.”

The organization uses a suite of indicators to calculate an overall 2016 Water Quality Score for different watersheds across San Diego County. For the first time since 2013, some of San Diego County’s watersheds surpassed the “Fair” rating on the Water Quality Index,” reaching “Good.” Each watershed below is linked to more details about the watershed’s 2016 water quality:

  • San Luis Rey                      82     Good
  • Buena Vista                        78     Fair
  • San Marcos (Batiquitos)      79     Fair
  • Escondido Creek                 72     Fair
  • Peñasquitos                       76     Fair
  • Rose Creek                           87     Good
  • San Dieguito                       78     Fair
  • San Diego                          72     Fair
  • Pueblo                                56     Marginal
  • Sweetwater                         74     Fair (20 percent improvement from 2015)
  • Otay                                70     Fair
  • Tijuana                                   N/A   (unsafe to test because of sewage contamination)

“Every year, our results continue to show that water quality is defined by all of us. There’s no single source of pollution poisoning our environment; it’s all of our daily actions that determine our water quality,” says Meyers. “Whenever you pick up a piece of litter, fix a leaky sprinkler or forgo chemical fertilizers in your garden, you make a real impact. We all have the opportunity to take small actions that matter.”

After each month’s water sampling, San Diego Coastkeeper updates its online, color-coded water quality map. See June 2017’s water quality results.

Read the full water quality report for 2016 here.

As a trained Water Quality Monitor, volunteers can learn how to generate vital, scientifically sound data to better inform decision-makers and the public. Visit San Diego Coastkeeper’s website to learn more, sign up for training, to view the 2017 water quality-monitoring schedule and to donate to help the organization continue doing this important work.

 

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San Diego Coastkeeper

Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.

 

[ The National Park Foundation ]

“Our national parks are a uniquely American idea, truly supported by all of us. We are inspired by the beauty that surrounds us. We seek the wild and untamed land, the places where history was made, the sites that honor our heroes, and we stand behind what really matters – protecting these sacred places.”

NationalParkFoundation

The National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service, enriches America’s national parks and programs through the support of private citizens, park lovers, stewards of nature, history enthusiasts and wilderness adventurers.

Chartered by Congress in 1967, the Foundation grew out of a legacy of park protection that began over a century ago when ordinary citizens took action to establish and protect our national parks.

Today, the National Park Foundation carries on the tradition of early park advocates, big thinkers, doers and dreamers. It works to keep trails clear, partners with collaborators such as the White House to get kids outdoors, and most importantly, raises and allocates critical funds to keep our national parks safe.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

John Muir, early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the U.S.

To learn more and support our parks, visit https://www.nationalparks.org/

 

[ Featured For April: Friends of the Earth ]

Friends-o-the-Earth591x218Friends of the Earth is an international environmental protection organization that “strives for a more healthy and just world”. Their work pushes for reforms politically on a large scale as well as smaller community networks focused on the preservation of shared Earth resources.

“We understand that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, so we push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy.” – FOE

Together they have 75 national member groups collaborating for the international conservation effort, representing more than two million activist in more than 60 countries. In the United States, FOE works with Congressmen, state authorities and community groups in all 50 states to urge policymakers and community leaders to “work towards a healthy envirornment for all people.”

Throughout their 47-year history, Friends of the Earth has been working “to change the perception of the public, media and policy makers” and institute global environmental protection efforts. Their main efforts go specifically to curbing the environmental degradationon drivers like public investment, granting corporations the right to pollute, or other factors on federal and state levels.

What Makes FOE Different:
– They fight for what’s needed over the longer term for all creatures on our planet, not for what is easy or popular in the short term
– They are a loud and fearless voice for the environment and have been for 47 years
– They act globally and locally, with a worldwide networks of activist in 75 countries (and counting)
– They know that solving deep-rooted environmental problems requires exposing and fighting the economic forces that fuel them
– They employ a variety of tactics such as policy analysis, grassroots activism, litigation and creative communication to win their campaigns fairly.

What FOE Has Achieved:
– Limits the Air pollution from Ships
– Persuaded Thousands of Grocery Stores to Commit to Not Selling Genetically Engineered Salmon
– Stopped Construction of Dangerous Nuclear Reactors
– Exposed Corruption in the Review of the Keystone XL tar sands oil Pipeline.

On an international level they have collaborated to bring projects like the Climate Justice and Energy Program giving communities the right to choose thier own sustainable energy sources, and working with the UN negotiators to agree on climate finance and ending deforestation.

They also have started a Food Sovereignty program aimed to halt genetically modified organisms from human consumption. FOE is also responsible for the Forest and Biodiversity program that campaigns against illegal logging and deforestation and works with communities to manage their forest as well as opposing and exposing the negative impacts of monoculture plantations of cromps like sugar cane, palm oil and soy.

In a statement on their website FOE describes their battles to protect the environment as, “Hard work. But the pressures facing our planet and it’s people are too important for us to compromise.”

Find out more about ‘Friends of the Earth’ here.

[ The Global Environment Facility ]

The Global Environment Facility

We frequently say going green will only work when it helps save the “green” – as in cash. The GEF is uniquely positioned in that space where financial investments are made to help the environment.

TheGef_591x218About The GEF

The Global Environment Facility (GEF), is a catalyst for action on the environment. Through its strategic investments, the GEF works with partners to tackle the planet’s biggest environmental issues.

• A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP of 18 agencies — including United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, national entities and international NGOs — working with 183 countries to address the world’s most challenging environmental issues. The GEF has a large network of civil society organizations, works closely with the private sector around the world, and receives continuous inputs from an independent evaluation office and a world-class scientific panel.
• A FINANCIAL MECHANISM for 5 major international environmental conventions: the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
• AN INNOVATOR AND CATALYST that supports multi-stakeholder alliances to preserve threatened ecosystems on land and in the oceans, build greener cities, boost food security and promote clean energy for a more prosperous, climate-resilient world; leveraging $5.2 in additional financing for every $1 invested.


Achievements

Over the past 25 years, the GEF has supported a range of notable achievements:

• Creation of more than 3,300 protected areas covering 860 million hectares, an area larger than Brazil.
• Conservation-friendly management of more than 352 million hectares of productive landscapes and seascapes
• 790 climate change mitigation projects contributing to 2.7 billion tons of GHG emission reductions.
• Sustainable management of 34 transboundary river basins in 73 countries.
• Improved cooperation and governance of one-third of the world’s large marine ecosystems.
• Sound management and disposal of 200,000 tons of highly toxic Persistent Organic Pollutants.
• Climate change adaptation to reduce the vulnerability of more than 15 million people in 130 countries.

The Future

• Environmental threats are growing on a global scale. Although the GEF has had a huge impact in addressing these threats, it recognizes the need for a more comprehensive vision.

• The 2020 Strategy positions the GEF as a champion of the global environment. It sets out a blueprint for tackling the root causes of environmental degradation through core projects and innovative pilots, while delivering cost-effective, high-impact results. To do all this, the GEF will mobilize local and global stakeholders — from national and local governments to the private sector to civil society, including indigenous peoples and research institutions.

Get more information at https://www.thegef.org

[ November Feature: American Farmland Trust ]

No farms, no food. That’s the message of an organization called the American Farmland Trust.

35 years ago, visionary farmland conservationists founded American Farmland Trust.  It’s now part of a national movement to save the land, soil, water and people needed to feed America, and the world.

According to the organization, it’s an uphill battle. Every hour, more than 40 acres of farm or ranch land is lost to urban sprawl or development. Every year, 1.7 billion tons of topsoil is lost to erosion each year in the U.S. That’s enough to fill 1,200 Empire State buildings.

From the halls of Congress to local councils, the American Farmland Trust fights for programs and policies that protect farmland, food and the environment. By mobilizing partners and engaging citizens, they advocate for the changes needed to sustain America’s farmland and the farmers who grow our food.

Since AFT’s founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, the organization has helped save millions of acres of farmland, and led the way for establishing sound environmental practices on millions more.

Want to help? Find out more here. https://www.farmland.org/