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

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Water Quality and Conservation Issues in the Bear Creek Watershed


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Presentation Transcript
slide2

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

freshwater a precious resource
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

slide4

Of that 2.5% portion of Earth’s total freshwater:

Glaciers & Permafrost: 68.9%

Groundwater: 30.8%

Streams, Lakes & Rivers: 0.3%

slide5

Photo by Brandon Goldman

What do watersheds do?

What do watersheds do for people?

What do watersheds do for animals?

slide6

Where is water in your watershed?

How do you use water?

Photo by Brandon Goldman

slide7

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

slide8

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?

water quality is better than it used to be but still rated poor
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.

slide12

Runoff is one of the largest forms of water pollution in the U.S.

What have we done

to change the natural systems?

slide13

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.

what pollutants get into stormwater
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.
slide15

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.
to help our creeks reduce storm water polluted runoff

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?

slide17

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.

slide18

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.

what can you do to help bear creek s water quality
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.
think of the ways we use water
Think of the ways we use water…

Are there ways to conserve?

become water conscious and learn new habits
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.

why conserve water
Why conserve water?

Water must sustain us all.

It is a limited resource.

people can take action to help improve and restore the watershed
People can take action to help improve and restore the watershed

Students planting to restore Jackson Creek.

note to user
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
other resources
Other Resources
  • Medford Water Commission; Conservation Dept.

www.medfordwater.org/SectionIndex.asp?SectionID=9

  • Oregon Trout and OR water issues: ww.thefreshwatertrust.org
  • EPA Water, Kid’s Stuff:

www.epa.gov/water/kids.html

www.epa.gov/owow/kids.htmlwww.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/education

  • Water: Use It Wisely Kid’s Page: www.wateruseitwisely.com/kids/index.php
  • DCWASA for Kids: www.dcwasa.com/kids/index.html