News from around the basin – January 4, 2024

How to protect our drinking water during a snowstorm, staff adventures in the field, a ferry tale, and more, in this week’s Potomac News Reservoir – Jan. 4, 2024 > > >

The mixed blessing of snow

Snow is in the forecast. When you work in water resources in the Potomac River watershed, snow is a double-edged sword.

On one hand, slowly melting snow refills our depleted groundwater, which is especially important after our dry 2023.

On the other hand, salt added to roads and sidewalks will run into our waterways, putting our drinking water, aquatic life, and infrastructure at risk. Our long history of winter salt use has increased the chloride levels in the Potomac River by 10-fold over the past 80 years.

Public safety is always the number one priority. However, using smart winter salting practices will ensure safety and reduce the amount of salt that ends up in our waterways.

Here’s what you can do:

❄️ Shovel First

🧂 Use Less Salt

🧹 After the storm, sweep it up and reuse it next time!

Let’s reduce our winter salt use to protect our drinking water, fish, and infrastructure! MWCOG has more tips and tricks for being Winter Salt Smart. #saltsmart

Graphic depictions of two sidewalks. One, under the heading, Not That, has piles of winter salt. The other, under the heading Do This, has only a sprinkling of winter salt.

A celebration of field work

Person standing in water next to scientific equipment.In 2023, ICPRB staff accomplished a variety of field activities, including monitoring for microplastics in Washington, D.C., tracking underground streams in the Cacapon River, and tagging and tracking fish in the North Branch Potomac. Stay tuned in 2024 for the results of these studies!

Find more photos of staff adventures on our Facebook page > > >


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