Washington County's unique geology and landscape allows for the county to recharge its own water supply.

Washington County's unique geology and landscape allows for the county to recharge its own water supply.

Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land.
— Conservationist Luna Leopold

Throughout history, water has been seen as a precious and vital resource. Health, industry, aesthetics, are a few of the major needs where water has been prevalent throughout history. Although technology and modern advances have allowed us to utilize water more effectively than we have in the past, we are still dependent on water as a primary resource in our lives. Washington County is still using water to sustain and enhance our health, industry, and aesthetics.

Each day, Washington County residents use water to grab a quick drink, clean their dishes, take a shower, water their lawns, and others activities too numerous to mention. Most people are not concerned with where the water comes from, just as long as it is still coming out of the tap. Washington County is still 100% dependent on groundwater to supply its residents with this precious resource for their daily needs. With that said, our water supply is of the highest value and needs to be properly managed and sustained.

Washington County is special in that its unique geology and landscape allows for the county to recharge its own water supply. Many of our lakes and streams are key features that allow the discharge and recharge of our groundwater supply. With concerns in our county about groundwater contamination and threats to drinking water supply, we must be cautious to keep pollution to a minimum in order to maintain a clean and healthy supply of water for our future.

Streams and rivers are major conduits by which water and materials are transported, and many lakes are conduits by which the water and materials carried to them are placed back into our groundwater supply. Keeping these resources clean is everyone's responsibility and to do that we must be good stewards of the land. Nobody likes or wants a green and scummy lake, a chocolate milk colored stream or river, or bad tasting or contaminated drinking water. When you think of water, you want clean and clear, not green and gross.

All water naturally moves downhill. This natural feat of physics forms watersheds. No matter how flat your property is you can always bet that there is a low point. Water naturally finds the low point, where the water that had previously evaporated and came back as precipitation has now founds its way to soil and over time our water supply. It is only based on what we as residents do before that water finds its way to our drinking water supply via puddles, wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes within each watershed that will be the outcome of what we will have for future generations. As urban sprawl becomes more prevalent in our county, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain a level of clean and healthy water resources. We must be open-minded, conservation-friendly residents in order to protect the resources we have.

To learn more about Washington County lakes, streams, and other water resources contact the Washington Conservation District (WCD).