Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Celebrating fresh water

water in the southern ADKs

Happy World Water Day (on March 22). This United Nations observance day was established in 1993 to celebrate water and raise awareness of the 2 billion people across the world living without access to safe drinking water. This year’s theme is a focus on groundwater: “Making the invisible visible.”

The world relies almost entirely on groundwater for drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming and other uses, according to the UN. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report emphasized concerns about the future of drinking water as warming trends and human development accelerate threats to water supplies.

I celebrated the morning of World Water Day by tuning in to the latest Lake George Park Commission meeting. In an update on the commission-proposed septic regulation, the commission’s staff attorney said they were getting close to sending draft regulation to Albany for approval before they would be out for public review. That could happen in the next few months. The proposal would be posted for 60 days prior to a public hearing, which could be held by late-summer or fall. The rules if approved – which would require regular septic inspections in sensitive areas – could go into place by next year.

On the invasive species front, you still have until April 2 to comment on a DEC proposal to enable construction and permanent placement of boat decontamination equipment at state campgrounds and day-use areas throughout the forest preserve. Supporters hope the change to the generic unit management plan will streamline efforts to outfit DEC locations with the important tools in fighting aquatic invasives.


Photo by Zachary Matson.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Zachary Matson has been an environmental reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park. Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.

6 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    Thanks Zachary for the article! The planet certainly needs clean air and clean water for Nature to thrive. Dangerous chemicals in our air and water are being joined by perhaps the MOST dangerous chemical – plastics. Nature does not have any mechanisms to break down these “chemical compounds” in the environment. They only get broken into smaller and smaller pieces, which can interfere with or kill most organisms on the planet either directly or indirectly. Plastic trash is choking the oceans and waterways and littering the land. There is no ambiguity on this issue.

    We will likely argue global warming and its causes until humans are extinct, but there is no argument about plastics. Virtually any plastics we have ever produced are still in our environment, whether above ground or buried out of sight. The same corporations and governments that promote fossil fuels are also essentially promoting plastics – which are indeed just another petrochemical. These entities have pushed away their culpability in producing these plastics by a sham “recycling” program devised to shift this culpability from the manufacturer to the consumer. While recycling some materials is affordable and quite planet friendly, the ugly truth is that very few plastics are ever eventually recycled – but rather moved around the globe and hopefully out of our view. Some countries burn them, obviously polluting the air, but more often than not, they are simply buried or even dumped in the ocean.

    Will any future intelligent species ever be able to fathom the plastic trash we have accumulated and why any intelligent species would have allowed it to continue?

    • Bill Ott says:

      For over 50 years I have wondered why we on earth have not detected any signs of life in the universe. One of my postulations is that civilizations self-exterminate because of overpopulation leading to war, disease, or pollution. A cosmic calamity cannot be ruled out. Perhaps plastics are more dangerous than nukes or asteroids.

      All of us here can help save the world one bag at a time. I may be preaching to the choir. I cannot stop a nuke from being launched, but I can use paper, not plastic.

      • Boreas says:

        Bill Ott,

        I agree. I just wish we were given better choices in our packaging and consumable items. All to often, “tamper proof” eventually equates to “environmentally indestructible waste” one second after the package is opened. .

        • Bill Ott says:

          This may be off topic, but have you ever noticed that when you donate to this rag, one of those annoying ads over there on the right side disappears, at least now and then? On the plus side, those ads are not selling stuff wrapped in plastic.

          • Boreas says:

            I never noticed. I am lucky that I can ignore most adds – I guess because they are always there – like my big nose…

  2. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “For over 50 years I have wondered why we on earth have not detected any signs of life in the universe.”

    > Surely there are signs Bill, though we have not the imagination to see them, or they are out of reach of our technology to definitively trace. Or we are too busy with our ego’s to ‘see.’ We ‘have had’ visitors whom have been shuttling across the universe in disc-shaped, and other, craft since the days of the pyramids…..ancient astronauts. They have left records behind which show up in ancient art forms. They are far more advanced than us, and there was this effort initially to guide us and so they threw “God” into our psyche which they thought might lead us onto the right path. They kept coming back in their advanced craft to see if their ‘heavenly being’ ideology was working. It was not! But they kept coming back hopeful that they were, and they have seen that it isn’t working, seen how more explosive and war-like, and dysfunctional we are becoming, that “all is not good”, and so they stay at a distance and helplessly watch us slowly destroy ourselves.

    They have records of the history of civilizations past in other worlds in the universe, civilizations going back millennia with lifeforms who were similar to us, who were as advanced in technology and of the same psyche as earthlings. And so they know there is no hope for us, they see history repeating, and that any effort to save us is futile at best….so they keep their distance, now and again making their appearance in their advanced craft hopeful that they are. They are sad to see all that was good on planet Earth is going to hell in a hand-basket, and they weep for us! They know to keep ‘God’ out of the equation when it comes to guidance in other worlds that are in their beginning stages of life-forms with a conscience. Indeed, they know ‘God’ is a major part of Earth’s woes, and so they will throw other lifeforms such as frogs and bees and trees and flowers into their psyche’s…. as the divinity which guides them to the right path.