What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is any water from rain or snow that does not infiltrate into the ground after a storm, and instead runs along the surface of the ground. This water is pulled downhill by gravity which causes it to run over different terrains until it eventually reaches a body of water like a river, lake, or stream. Through this journey, stormwater picks up many pollutants along the way like sediment, lawn chemicals, pet waste, and more.
Why is Protecting Stormwater Important?
With 71% of Earth's surface being covered in water, it seems like it would be an infinite resource! In reality, 97% of water is found in the oceans - making it unusable for humans. This leaves just 3% of Earth's water as potable water for us to use for watering crops, drinking, bathing, and everything else. All the water we have on Earth now is all the water we've ever had and will ever have! If our water gets polluted, we don't have any back up supplies - so we better work to keep it clean!
Stormwater accounts for an estimated 70-90% of water pollution. Not only does polluted water affect us, but it also harms the ecosystems around us. Plants and animals rely on clean water for drinking and habitats. Next time it rains, consider all the ways you can keep pollutants out of our waterways!
Credit: City of Wilmington, NC Stormwater Services