Inland Water Conservation: Colorado must find ways to mitigate water pollution
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Colorado is a “headwaters state;” this means that, eventually, all the water in Colorado will flow into the ocean. Therefore, the state needs to be extra careful about pollutants being swept into our rivers as it impacts the oceans. Not to mention, Senator Cory Gardner has vague plans on how to mitigate pollutants in rivers and lakes and has voted against numerous bills that protect Colorado's natural water sources. Many people live here for the biodiversity and natural scenery. When pollutants such as fertilizer, oils, and pesticides are dumped, the ecosystems are damaged. The quality of the drinking water is lower, causing people to get diseases from drinking water. We as concerned natives created this petition of potential solutions. We believe that Colorado senators must consider:
1. Be more aware of the effects of pesticides and fertilizer on our water
Enforce rules/regulations around owning a permit for aquatic pesticides, and test water quality where one uses fertilizer/pesticides every month.
2. Water protection with wildfires.
Colorado is a dry area and wildfires are natural. However, large man-made wildfires cause millions of dollars to put out; paints from houses, toxic ash, and debris are all swept into creeks which are the main source for local towns. Preparing a plan of action for the water quality would help minimize long-term issues such as public health and restoration/clean up.
3.Funding for mine disasters
There are about 288,849 mines in Colorado alone, and the EPA needs to get funding to clean up toxins from the mines because they end up leaking in water sources. For instance, in 2015, the EPA spilled 3 million gallons of toxins from the Gold King mine into the Animas River which eventually reached the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.
The environment is already being damaged because of man-made global warming. The states water source shouldn’t be polluted further because the government won’t support bills to mitigate it. The issues listed above are the main ways pollutants enter our water systems; if a plan is created to address these issues, we as a state can focus on the smaller ways to stop water pollution.
As a concerned high school student and constituent, I implore you to commit to mitigating water pollution in Colorado through any legislation necessary.
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