The importance of a clean river – Project Clean Water

The importance of a clean river

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Did you know that the United States is home to more than 250,000 rivers?

Rivers don’t just carry water from place to place—they play a major role in supporting the overall health and wellbeing of our ecosystem: they drain rainwater, create energy and provide food and habitats for plants and animals.

The rivers in San Diego flow through 11 watersheds that all feed into the Pacific Ocean. Since this water does not get treated before it goes into the ocean, the pollutants it picks up along the way get carried out with them.

With the rise of urbanization—or land development—there are fewer permeable surfaces that absorb water, causing runoff to travel more quickly out of urban landscapes into stormwater drains. Additionally, as the weather gets warmer and drought-like conditions become the norm, water levels in rivers lower, leaving less water to dilute pollutants.

The good news: Small, every day actions can go a long way when it comes to keeping pollutants out of our waterways.

If you see trash around while you’re out, pick it up and dispose of it in a covered trash can, or participate in a local watershed clean up event. You can also take our 52 Ways to Love Your Water pledge today for more ways to do your part