This year, the Washington Aqueduct and DC’s water system celebrates its 150th anniversary. The Washington Aqueduct began transporting water in 1863, and has been helping supply area residents with clean water ever since. Protecting such an important and historical structure is key to ensuring that DC has clean water centuries into the future. We don’t just depend on human-made infrastructure like the aqueduct for clean water. Our wetlands, waterways, and ecosystems also play a role. These natural systems filter our water free of charge and help ensure a constant, steady supply of water.
Protecting all the natural ecosystems and organisms that ensure clean water is a huge job, but every single person can help. All that action adds up, just like all those single water droplets add up to the more than 180 million gallons of water flowing through DC’s pipes every day.
To celebrate 150 years of DC’s water, The Nature Conservancy is collecting 150 ideas for how we can all help protect our drinking water and keep it clean. Submit your ideas to our Facebook page or on Twitter (using hashtag #DCH2O) and we’ll add your ideas here!
Jen B., VA: Cut your hair! Shorter showers!
Luca, VA: Collect rain water
Brenda, VA: Turn off the faucet in between brushing your teeth
Liz, MD: Reduce impervious surfaces and segregate drinking water from agriculture and sewage water
Anon: Buy more wilderness to create green ways throughout the area and to get that area away from developers
Jeannie, VA: Turn off water while brushing teeth to save water
Amber, MD: Turn off the water when not using it
Jenny P., VA: When I make hot tea in a tea kettle, instead of throwing the overage away, I put it in a recycled glass bottle. I use it for my over filtered water and therefore buy much much less bottled water.
Hayatt, MD: Showering together!
George, DC: Use recyclable cups
Kristin, VA: I don’t have a lawn to water!
Teresa, VA: Flush less
Samira, DC: I would not leave water running for my daily morning routine (ie. Shutting off water while brushing my teeth)
Lauren, WA: I turn the shower off when I shave my legs
Meg: Take my Nalgene bottle everywhere!
Bogi, MD: Turn off water while lathering with soaps and turn back on to rinse and on to get wet. This is to conserve water.
Susan, VA: Use reusable bottles
Ashly, MD: Take fewer and faster showers
Steven, MD: Taking shorter showers
Dor, DC: Support stricter storm water runoff regulation to reduce nutrient levels in the Chesapeake Bay
Mark, MD: Take quicker showers
Donia, MD: Low flow showerheads
Jodie, DC: Use vivreau water systems
Brittany, VA: Conserve water use! Community dishwashing!
Brandon, DC: Eat vegetarian
P. Hilgard, VA: I never flush!
Anna, DC: I will use non-toxic cleaning products and toiletries to minimize my share of pollution and excess nutrients going into the water
Alex, MD: File suit to enjoin agricultural nonpoint runoff and compel establishment of riparian buffers. Also, install grey water reusal systems
Annabel, VA: Changing the nozzle for less water; less purchases of water bottles
Sarah, MD: Don’t use cleaners with harmful chemicals