Slippery Slopes Blog

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And Water for All

On June 21st, 2016, the Great Lakes governors voted unanimously to allow Waukesha access to Lake Michigan water and to return the treated water to Racine via the Root River.  It is something we all have to live with now.

So, for those of us in “shipping and receiving” as it were, what can we do to support our current waterways and aquifers to ensure that we all have access to clean water.  Well, as it turns out, quite a lot. Here are some examples for starters:

  • Cease treating run-off like a waster product to be shushed off to the land of away. The water that comes off of your rooftops should be allowed to return underground where it recharges our aquifers and eventually our waterways.  Do this by taking a different approach to landscaping.  Use native plants and create rain gardens in both residential and commercial applications.
  • Work with municipalities to create forward thinking development practices that conserve water. Urge them to create incentives for those who do so.
  • Pressure developers to use water conserving designs for parking lots, subdivisions and other public hardscaped areas.  Wisconsin has many examples as well as other places in our nation.
  • Don’t have water saving toilets yet?  Now is a good time.
  • Stop using bottled water.  It takes more water to create bottled water owing to the plastic that swathes it.  Use it only in emergencies – as it was intended.
  • Are you still watering your lawn when it is supposed to go dormant?  What a water waster!
  • Speaking of watering, do you need to do so?  If so, pay attention to when and how you water.

All the water we have is all the water we have.  We cannot get more than what is contained on our planet.  It is precious and limited.  Time to treat it that way.

 

Get Out!

It is happening again. Just like always and it is fast. Ice has turned to water. Frozen soil has transformed into mud that might suck your boots right off your feet.  The cold, quiet air is alive with bird song and a few intrepid frogs have added their voices to the growing symphony. Small, early emerging insects are there to nourish the music-makers. Tree buds signal the time to pull the spiles and thank the Maples for their annual abundance.

One day it is in the 60’s and light perspiration glistens on your face if given half a chance. The next day it has dropped to the low 40’s with a stiff northwestern breeze making layers the fashion statement of choice.  This is the time of year when Wisconsinites are molting. The bottom winter layers frequently disappear first. In their place are Tevas and shorts while further up, vestiges of cold weather remain – thermal Henleys, fleece pullovers, and puffy jackets. Yes, it is a Wisconsin spring.

It is a fleeting time of often near perfection.  Warm and sunny with no dew point and no mosquitoes. If you blink, you might miss it and that would be regrettable indeed.  Get out! Get out there and immerse yourself in the great awakening, the great return that is Spring.Tiny moss at Drumlin