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Water Quality and Conservation Issues in the Bear Creek Watershed December 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Quality and Conservation Issues in the Bear Creek Watershed December 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Quality and Conservation Issues in the Bear Creek Watershed December 2009

2 The Bear Creek Watershed Virtual Tours were created with funds provided by the Bear Creek Watershed Education Partners through a grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board with additional funding from Oregon Trout’s Healthy Waters Institute. THANKS TO: Terri Eubanks Brandon Goldman Craig Harper, Rogue Valley Council of Governments Medford Water Commission

3 Freshwater: a precious resource Global Freshwater vs. Saltwater  Of Earth’s water: 97.5% = Saltwater 2.5% = Freshwater Global Freshwater Of that 2.5% portion of Earth’s total water:  Glaciers & Permafrost: 68.9%  Groundwater: 30.8%  Streams, Lakes & Rivers: 0.3% Data from The Freshwater Trust

4 Of that 2.5% portion of Earth’s total freshwater: Glaciers & Permafrost: 68.9% Groundwater: 30.8% Streams, Lakes & Rivers: 0.3%

5 What do watersheds do? What do watersheds do for people? What do watersheds do for animals? Photo by Brandon Goldman

6 Where is water in your watershed? How do you use water? Photo by Brandon Goldman

7 High functioning watersheds have ways to take care of the bad stuff: contaminants, excess water, soil movement into streams….

8 People, fish, and wildlife are healthier in a well functioning watershed. People can sometimes do things which impact the function of the watershed. What are some things people do which affect the watershed? Do those acts help or hurt the way the watershed can work?

9 There are many ways that humans change and impact our watershed

10 This is the Bear Creek watershed. HOW CLEAN IS IT?

11 Water quality is better than it used to be, but still rated poor. Many streams do not meet water quality standards for temperature, bacteria, sediment, and nutrients, all of which can mean the stream is not healthy for fish or safe for swimming.

12 Runoff is one of the largest forms of water pollution in the U.S. What have we done to change the natural systems?

13 Storm drains in the Bear Creek watershed drain directly to streams. Nothing cleans the water running in the gutter or ditches. Stormwater does not get treated. Do not put anything in the storm drain that should not be in a stream.

14 What pollutants get into stormwater? Oil, gas, brake dust and antifreeze – cars can distribute these pollutants onto parking lots and streets. Garden pesticides and fertilizers Bacteria – animals leave waste products which can get into stormwater. Sediment – construction work and removal of vegetation causes soil to runoff with stormwater.

15 Sediment Sediment is one of the leading water resource pollutants nationwide. Sediment from construction site runoff is 10x to 20x more than from agricultural land. Other construction site wastes (cement, paint, fuel, oil, etc.) are also problems.

16 To help our creeks: reduce storm water & polluted runoff Runoff is excess water that washes pollutants into local streams. Where will this muddy water end up?

17 Wash cars on lawn or gravel where the soapy water will soak into the ground to be filtered and decompose. When soapy water from vehicle washing goes to the street it ends up in the stream. Soapy water won’t hurt the lawn, but it will hurt the stream.

18 If water becomes polluted while traveling over the land to get to a fish’s stream, then the fish’s habitat becomes polluted. Healthy native fish in the Bear Creek watershed need clean, cold water. People can help keep it that way.

19 What can you do to help Bear Creek’s water quality? Don’t allow pollutants to go in streams or storm drains. Properly dispose of hazardous waste. Conserve water in home, garden, and agricultural use. Use only as much as needed.

20 Think of the ways we use water… Are there ways to conserve?

21 Which of these choices save water?

22 Become water conscious and learn new habits! Use a nozzle on garden hoses that automatically turn off when not in use. Turn off the water when brushing teeth. Take shorter showers.

23 Why conserve water? Water must sustain us all. It is a limited resource.

24 People can take action to help improve and restore the watershed Students planting to restore Jackson Creek.

25 Do your part and help keep our streams healthy for all our sake.

26 Note to user: Objective of presentation: brief introduction to water quality and conservation topics relevant to the Bear Creek watershed with simple acts people can do to affect these issues. Most appropriate for: Ages 6 and up

27 Other Resources Medford Water Commission; Conservation Dept. Oregon Trout and OR water issues: EPA Water, Kid’s Stuff: Water: Use It Wisely Kid’s Page: DCWASA for Kids:

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