Do you know where your drinking water comes from?
- The Rio Grande is the fifth longest river in the United States. It is also among the top twenty in the world
- Many areas within the United States receive their drinking water from ground water aquifers.
- As water becomes scarcer during periods of drought, pumping from the aquifers has exceeded recharge rates.
- As the aquifers decline, clean water from the Rio Grande becomes more and more pertinent.
Water Quality Issues:
High bacteria is one of the biggest water quality issues of the Rio Grande.
1. Boundary preservation
Through binational partnerships with Mexico, we preserve the international boundary. The water quality is improved. Conservation, and utilization of transboundary water resources in the border region.
2. Water Conveyance
It provides flood protection to U.S. residents and ensure the efficient conveyance. Additionally, utilization, and accurate accounting of boundary and transboundary is maintained. River waters through the operation and maintenance of flood control structures, dams, reservoirs, power plants, and gaging stations is monitored. This ensures it’s in accordance with domestic law and international agreements.
3. Water Quality
Next, water quality improves when applicable U.S. laws are followed. Boundary and transboundary waters, in concert with Mexico, addresses salinity and border sanitation problems. This is pursuant to international agreements and applicable U.S. Law.
4. Resource & Asset Management
Therefore, innovative management maximizes water quality. Monitoring the accountability of human, physical, and fiscal resources is important to improve water quality.
TIPS: Protect the Rio Grande from Bacteria
- Pick up your dog’s waste when you walk your dog.
- Pump and inspect septic tanks regularly.
- Participate in community cleanups for highways and rivers.
- Ranchers can manage their herds so they don’t graze along streams.
TIPS: Recreation and Health
- Some illnesses commonly seen when swimming in contaminated water include infections of the throat, eye, nose and ears.
- If you come into contact with contaminated water, make sure to wash the areas well with warm soap and water.
- When swimming, avoid any ingestion of contaminated water from any area.
How do E. coli bacteria get into the Rio Grande?
- Contamination of water with human or animal waste, known as fecal contamination, can happen in many different ways.
- Treatment plants and other facilities use many different types of methods to sanitize drinking water.
- Local treatment plants clean and process water from your faucet. In most regions, water from the faucet is safe to drink. Hence, check with your local water organization prior to ingesting.
Is your water contaminated with bacteria?
In summary, water quality and environmental information is available using EPA’s interactive online tool, the EnviroMapper for Water, at http://www.epa.gov/waters/enviromapper/.