1. Know your Water. Learn where your drinking water comes from, and where your waste water goes.
2. Drink tap water. Bottled water creates waste and displaces water from its own watershed. Most of us are lucky to live where our tap water is safe to drink- by using this water you are sending a message to the municipalities that you demand safe drinking water.
3. Be aware of storm drains. What goes down the storm drain on the street usually enters the closest water body without being cleaned. Pollutants such as cigarette butts and litter, animal waste, lawn fertilizer, and vehicle oils and gases all cause major damage to the watershed.
4. Collect Rain Water. During the summer months 50% of all municipally treated water is used for watering lawns and gardens.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 95% of the energy to make a new aluminum can is saved when it is recycled.
6. Wash your car at a car wash or use environmentally friendly soaps. If you wash your car at home was it over the grass so that the detergents are not going directly into the storm sewer.
7. Buy Local. Buying locally grown foods and products from family run suppliers supports your local economy and reduces the overall carbon and water footprint of your meals and products.
8. Buy energy efficient appliances and light bulbs for your home. The energy created to run those devices in your home (in the Battle River Watershed) comes from the ATCO Battle River Coal-Fired Generating Station. For more information on electricity generation check out the David Sukizi webpage here or the Natural Resources Canada webpage here.
9. Take part in programs that help to rebuild the banks (riparian area) along a river or lake. This could include planting native trees and bushes and or removing invasive species. A healthy riparian area means a healthy waterbody!
10. Use natural methods of pest control for your lawn and garden. Using pesticides on your lawn can contaminate the water supply. To find out more visit the Canadian Gardening website here.
11. Fix leaky faucets or taps and report leaking public works equipment. 20% of all municipal water is lost due to leaks.
12. Clean up after your pets. Pet waste can be easily washed into your water sources during rainfall. This waste which is high in nutrients can help create algae blooms that deplete rivers of oxygen and kill of aquatic life.
13. Build a watering system for livestock instead of letting them water and graze on the river bank. This will ensure that they do not contaminate the river with their waste and that the riparian vegetation will prevent soil erosion.
14. Dispose of toxic and hazardous chemicals, including medication, properly. Putting them into the sewage system is dangerous and it was not designed to handle waste of that type. Check out your local municipality’s website for proper household hazardous waste disposal.
15. Do your part to prevent invasive species from entering our watershed. Dispose of live bait away from waterways. Never dump bait into a river or lake. Clean the hull of your boat before launching in a new lake or river. For more information see the Alberta Sustainable Resource Development PDF on on aquatic invasives here.
16. Plant a tree. Trees prevent up to 20% of rainfall from reaching the ground, as well as their root structures create ideal soil conditions for water absorption. This helps reduce the strain on storm sewer systems.
17. Reduce the amount of salt that you use on your walkway and driveway in the winter months. Salt builds up in the snow fall until spring and then is washed into the river systems through the storm sewers. This salt can kill aquatic life as it turns the fresh water salty.
18. Write to your MLA or MP about an issue that concerns you. Public involvement is the key to a healthy community.
19. Join a local outdoors club. Find a spot in nature that you visit on a regular basis. Learn about the local plants in your area. Spending more time outside is good for you, your community and will make you a better naturalist!
20. Become a member of the Battle River Watershed Alliance to take part in the activities, events, annual general meetings, and community outreach we do! Click here to download a membership form.