Although water conservation and water quality are vital issues for our campus, the current version of the Ohio University Sustainability Plan only has two goals related to water: Benchmark 13 (Prohibit the installation of permanent irrigation systems that rely on potable water), and Benchmark 17 (Institute storm water management plan).
According to the UN, water scarcity already affects every continent. Around 1.2 billion people live in areas of water scarcity already, and about 500 million are approaching the situation. Additionally, water increases at about twice the rate as population does. While a major issue comes from inequitable distribution of water to people with less water access, another key piece is reducing the amount of water we use here. While this is no easy task, a simply place to start is reducing your own water use ad encouraging others to do so.
Acid mine drainage is a serious issue in Appalachia where coal production is prominent. To learn more about this phenomenon, here's an article written by College Green Magazine.
Photo credit: Alex Snyder
For tips on some simple ways to reduce your water usage, check out our sustainability tips.
The Ecohouse utilizes a number of water conservation efforts, including rain water sequestration and water efficient appliances. Click here to learn more!
The University and the City of Athens have linked municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4). In December, 2016, the Ohio EPA sent notification to the City of Athens that it was required to apply for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for its MS4. The University and the City wrote and approved a joint stormwater management program in June, 2017, which addresses the 6 minimum control measures (MCMs) of the MS4 stormwater plan requirements.
One of these MCMs is Public Education and Outreach. As a component of the Public Education and Outreach MCM, the Athens County Soil and Water Conservation District (ASWCD) has created a stormwater webpage. As another component of the Public Education and Outreach MCM, the University, the City of Athens, and the Athens Soil and Water Conservation District hosted Pollution Prevention Week, Sept 18-23, 2017.
Updates on the MS4 permit status for Ohio University will be posted on this page.