What is a Watershed??? • A watershed can be found almost anywhere. It is defined as the flow of water from a high to low place, over or under land. • Whenever you see a creek, stream, river, delta, lake or ocean you see a part of the watershed.
What’s happening to the Watershed? Local watersheds are in danger from many threats such as agricultural runoff, acid rain, development and more. Processes like Acidic Mine Drainage only further the problem, while utilizing products such as Bio-diesil will slow it down. The kinds of dangers created result in problems that can only be seen down stream. This usually means that actions taken by local politicians reflect a view that nothing is wrong because they can not see anything on their doorstep.
Agricultural Runoff • Agricultural runoff is one of the leading causes of bad water quality that affects our lakes, rivers, and other waterways.
Why Is Agricultural Runoff A Problem? • Runoff can pick up various substances • These pollutants flow directly into sewer systems, lakes, streams, and rivers. • During storm water overflow, anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water. • It can take centuries for some water bodies to recover.
There Are Four Main Pollutants Entering Our Waterways because of Agricultural Activity • Nitrogen • Phosphorus • Sediments • Fecal Matter
Agriculture Contributes Pollutants To Waterways • Overgrazed pastures • Excess fertilizers and pesticides • Livestock in streams • Other Contributors
Solutions to Agricultural Runoff • Keep livestock away from stream banks and provide them a water source away from water bodies. • Store and apply manure away from water bodies and in accordance with a nutrient management plan. • Rotate animal grazing to prevent soil erosion in fields. • Apply fertilizers and pesticides according to label instructions to save money and minimize pollution. • Use water and sediment control basins. • Keep nearby waterways grassy to prevent the amount of runoff that enters water bodies.
Biodiesel • Biodiesel is an alternative fuel that is created with corn and soybean oils • This is a cleaner burning fuel compared to fossil fuels and it’s non-toxic, about 10 less toxic than table salt • Biodiesel can be used in everyday diesel cars and trucks with slightly lower energy output, but it increases the lubricity of the engine
Petroleum Usage • Fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas -- currently provide more than 85% of all the energy consumed in the United States, nearly two-thirds of our electricity, and almost all of our transportation fuels. • In 2004, the U.S. was using 19.4 million barrels of petroleum per day which is about 3 gallons of gas everyday per person
78% less carbon dioxide than normal petroleum diesel and approximately 50% less carbon monoxide 5% less methane which is another cause of the “Greenhouse Effect” Compared to petroleum, Biodiesel emission of particulates 65 %, which are small particles of solid combustion products According to the Department of Energy, this reduces cancer risks by up to 94 % Biodiesel Benefits
Availability • Refueling sites are all over the country • Many concentrated in the mid-west in such states as Indiana, Iowa, and Nebraska • The use of these plants has driven up the prices of grain, helping the farms in that area.
Acid Mine Drainage is the number one cause of water pollution in every single Appalachian coal mining state in the US. A mine with acid mine drainage has the potential for long-term damage and devastating impacts on rivers, streams, and aquatic life.
What is Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)? Drainage flowing from or caused by surface mining, deep mining or coal refuse piles that is typically highly acidic with elevated levels of dissolved metals. How is AMD formed? AMD is formed by a series of complex chemical reactions that occur when water comes in contact with pyrite (iron disulfide minerals) in coal. Exposed pyrite reacts with air and water to form sulfuric acid and dissolved iron.
Impacts of AMD • Effects aquatic life by eliminating most of algae, macroinvertebrates, and fish • Causes water to be unfit for drinking and household purposes (ex: unpleasant tastes, laxative effects, laundry staining, and scum in sinks and tubs) • Leads to corrosion of navigation locks and dams, ships and barges, bridges, pipelines and plumbing
Active Chemical Treatment treatment uses chemicals to neutralize the acidity Chemicals used are hydrated lime, pebble quicklime, caustic soda, soda ash briquettes, and ammonia Passive Treatment do not require continuous chemical inputs because they are based on naturally occurring chemical and biological processes technologies include constructed wetlands, anoxic limestone drains, successive alkalinity producing systems, limestone ponds, and open limestone channels. Approaches for Treating AMD
What they’re doing now Is this enough? Since 1977 Coal Operators have been required to contribute $.35 per ton of coal mined to a Trust Fund that is to be used for reclamation of abandoned coal mines. This fund’s balance in 1998 is estimated at $1.36 Billion. Over 12,000 miles of streams in the US are poisoned by acid mine drainage and only $204 million per year is being released by the federal government to all of the country to clean up the pollution. In West Virginia alone, 2 sites that pose public health and property hazards costs around $2.5 billion to reclaim.
What can we do? • Contact your Federal Legislators and ask them to put pressure on the federal government to release it to the states to create jobs and clean up the streams • Volunteer with your local watershed coalition or donate money to help keep your local streams clean
Acid Rain in general Acid Rain is caused mainly by two different pollutants. Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides. It occurs when these pollutants enter into the atmosphere. Once they are in the atmosphere, they mix with the moisture and falls as acidic rain.
The specifics • The pH of average water is at 6 or a little below. • Acid Rain is very destructive and is classified with a pH below 5.6. • Since Acid Rain has such a low pH, it can destroy trees, pollute water, and kill animals in the environment. • It is also harmful to humans because it can severely burn the skin.
Why we should save energy • We need to save energy to prevent acid rain. If everyone in Jefferson County turned off a light when it wasn’t being of use, the power plants would put off less harmful pollutants because of the drop in energy usage. • So if we all use less energy, then it will significantly prevent acid rain occurrence.
The Suburban Sprawl Effect BOOM! This is the World… This is the World… On Suburban Sprawl!
Why me? The Damaging Effects There are nice rural areas. Houses are built for people to live in. • Reduced permeable surface area = • lower water table • Run off from vehicles and acid rain = • more toxins in local water supply • Lower water table = • locals have to dig deeper wells • Lower water table = • plant life suffers(roots can’t reach water) • Lower water table = • plants die, mud slides and flooding occur
The Humanity factor • In the city, it’s an accepted belief that one does not have to interact with their neighbors; this spreads to the country. • These cookie cutter neighborhoods don’t always pay taxes to their local area reducing the outlying community’s ability to provide for their children. • 4 hour commute + 8 hour work day = tired individuals with little time for their families.
Threats like those produced from agricultural runoff and suburban sprawl are destroying our and our children’s chances for saving this world or even maintaining its current status.
What can be done? From picking up trash, using better fuel sources and reducing toxic emissions to passing laws that support saving the environment, you can help!
Jefferson County Watershed Coalition • We would like to see our group have more hours earlier in the year so that our group can gain a more full experience under this organization. • We would also like to see more communication between our advisor and out group. (possibly replace a shepherd advisor with a member of the community)
Demetrius Exum Watershed! Stephanie Suddueth By: Rex Barkdoll Matt Benjamin Patrick Noland