River Cleanup Promotes Water Conservation

River Cleanup Promotes Water Conservation

Consider this – it takes 19 gallons of water to grow one apple. Now, imagine a day without water. With 40 percent of America’s water used in agriculture and beverage production, a day without water means a fall without apple pie. 

Consider also that 61 percent of Americans rely on lakes, rivers, and streams as their source of drinking water. The remaining 39 percent rely on groundwater. The Value of Water Campaign employed this statistical data to illustrate how critical water is to our economy and communities as part of today’s annual Imagine a Day Without Water.

As our CEO, Doug McKeown, stated in the company’s inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Report, “Our people are passionate about making a difference in our communities. Our purpose is protecting the environment.” This notion is at the forefront of our daily operations. While our projects often focus on improving infrastructure are buried underground and out of sight, we also are active volunteers among our communities striving to make a visible impact. 

Not only are we a participant in today’s Imagine a Day Without Water, we also sponsored and partook in this year’s Connecticut River Conservancy Source to Sea Cleanup. The 22nd annual Cleanup took place Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut along the Connecticut River basin. Last year 2,500 volunteers helped to clean nearly 250 miles of rivers. As a result, The Connecticut River Conservancy was awarded "Most Miles Cleaned" by American Rivers. In its history, the cleanup has prevented more than 1,054 tons of trash and over 10,000 tires from flowing downstream, making water cleaner, river banks safer, and allowing wildlife to flourish.

As part of the Cleanup, a team from our Northampton, Mass. office tackled a local section of the Connecticut River basin the morning of Saturday, September 29. Shelby Beauchemin led our enthusiastic, intrepid volunteers, including Woodard & Curran employees Amine Hanafi, Aaron Brennan, and Tom Schwartz, along with family and friends. The group was assigned to the Oxbow in Northampton, an extension of the Connecticut River heavily used year-round for activities such as kayaking, water skiing, ice fishing, and hiking along the shores. 

During their day of hard work, the team encountered bags of garbage, discarded bottles and cups, disposed building materials, car parts, tires, furniture, and even a toilet. All told, they estimated removing somewhere between 400 and 500 pounds of material in such a concentrated area. While disheartening to find so much debris, the team was satisfied with leaving the Oxbow in cleaner condition than when they arrived. A great thanks goes to those who participated in this year’s Cleanup along the Connecticut River basin, as well as those who devote time to protect our valuable water resources.

Author

Senior Technical Manager
Municipal Wastewater

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