Pure Water for Shenandoah Valley
Developing Jobs, Commerce and Conservation
"I am not so concern on the return on my investment rather then the return of my investment." Ben Franklin
Our valley acts as a huge water-treatment system cleaning water for our neighbors downstream. As water-treatment stocks have become very attractive investments can we make the connection to advance regional pollution controls so to foster new prosperity?
Nearly 90 percent of the Washington DC metro region depends on the Potomac and its major tributary, the Shenandoah for clean drinking water. Also the Shenandoah valley supplies billions dollars in agriculture, timber, tourism and other environmental benefits. One hundred years ago we wisely established the George Washington National Forest to help preserve this watershed. Over a decade ago, New York City's invested over $6 billion dollars in the Catskills watershed to protect their drinking water, now the Shenandoah Valley can serve as model environmental economic development region to show that we all profit from pollution prevention not far from our nation's capital.
According to the Chesapeake Bay clean-up estimates, well over $2 billion is needed to restore the Shenandoah River to meet clean water goals. To do this we must develop new jobs and outreach programs to meet these needs. More than 1,300 miles of rivers and streams in the Shenandoah watershed fail to meet Federal clean water standard because of excess nutrients, sediment, and other pollutants. To meet this challenge we must change our very attitude on how we do business from short term to long term profits and also account for how much we are willing to invest in the value of this watershed.
We must look how we can grow in an organic not inorganic fashion. Rapid growth leads to more roads, parking lots and roofs. These hard surfaces prevent rain from soaking into the ground naturally and result in significant increases in runoff with such things as automobile oil, lawn fertilizer and other pollutants.
We need to act now since there have been many fish kills of small mouth bass and red breasted sunfish populations in the last few years on the Shenandoah River.
How we develop in the Shenandoah Valley will impact our water, air and land.
Promoting improved technologies and programs can result in increased economic benefits through emerging "green" infrastructure requirements (e.g reduced runoff volumes and nutrient export from a site).
New innovations must be explored as we see these as beginning economic development tools for our valley since how we allow our land to be developed can be a win/win situation if we exercise prudence. How we respect our valley raises fundamental questions about what new jobs we can provide for future generations. Now nearly 75 years ago 2 billion trees were planted by Civilian Conservation Corps. Since the first camp began right in the middle of the valley, training the youth in conservation has historic implications.
New Advancements = New Jobs
The valley can become an advocate for new eco-employment opportunities and stimulated new businesses to come to this region to support this demand for green industry.
Design "With" Nature
There are various ways the Pure Water Forum recommends.
Similar to how water runs down our roof down spouts it can be cleaned when plants absorb and recycle this spoiled water. Everyone has an opportunity to design a rain type garden to prevent pollution and water our plants and lawns since waste lots of money on watering and flushing with valuable drinking water instead of water reuse.
Such improved ?site design can also reduce the need to clear and grade the area increasing erosion control practices and can result in significant cost savings to builders. Much of the reduction in capital costs can be attributed to a reduction in impervious cover.
Non Point Pollution Prevention Measures
The greatest challenge in the environmental protection today is getting individuals to not do such things as litter, conserve water and energy, improperly throw away their toxic household by-products, fertilize their lawn, reduce their waste, and other sustainable measures. These directly or indirectly impact the Shenandoah Valley watershed is and such behaviors must be targeted and changed since this is the largest source of pollution, our collective selves.
Wastewater and Water Reuse Pollution Prevention Measures
How our well, spring, cistern, septic, alternative or municipal water/wastewater system operates and is managed plays a critical role on keeping our water clean. Failing systems, source water pollution and other problems all impact the watershed. Measures to address this infra-structure and development management tools are critical. Water reuse is going to be another key technology to develop.
Improved Best Management Practices, Pollution Controls, Training and Social Marketing
American's need to realize we face another form of serious terror, how we foul our environment. Just a simple act of throwing a can out of a car has an environmental impact. Collectively, how people change their car oil, or clean-up their animal waste or fertilize their lawn impact the Shenandoah River. People cause pollution and the source to control it. Without collective behavior change and improved good housekeeping measures the greatest source of our water impairment.
Air/Land/Water Impacts = More Pollution
The more we pollute or over regulate one medium without creating economic or incentives to change may result increasing environmental pollution to another area. This history of environmental regulation is good proof. Without integrated comprehensive planning numerous environmental conservations measures can be done in vain. If you improve conservation but allow for increased use it may be like bottle water situation of today. You have increased its package but not necessarily improved the product and created more plastic and cost. Expand Interstate 81 without alternative rail or greenway structures and it will be seen in 30 years as a major infrastructure blunder and it will cost future generations to rebuild.
Reduce First, Reuse Second and Recycle Last
More people recycle today then vote resulting in both a blessing and a curse. Reuse and reduction are far more favorable ways to better our environment then picking up grass and glass bottles at the curb. Maybe a better investment can be made in composting new top soil and creating reusable oil filters as best use of limited resources and dollars
Below is an entire summary of possible best management opportunities to promote future prosperity for Shenandoah Valley:
- Integrated Watershed Green Technology into Agenda for Action - research and develop key employment training, technology, water quality improvement measures together into one economic development plan. Pull together income from fisheries, agriculture, industry, and recreation and tourism. Also show indirect drinking water treatment costs, health care costs, and other environmental economic benefits. Show prevention saving and document income from recreation and tourism and increased property values and show the natural capitalism from reduction in energy costs, health care costs, flood control and stormwater quality and pollution treatment costs.
- Wastewater and Water Reuse Pollution Prevention Measures
- Improved Best Management Practices, Pollution Controls, Training and Social Marketing People cause pollution and the source to control it. Without collective behavior change and improved good housekeeping measures the greatest source.
- Reduce First, Reuse Second and Recycle Last
Copyright Rob Arner - All Rights Reserved.
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