Winter is the time when we start getting an inkling of what's going to happen to our water table in the upcoming summer. We watch the snowfall percentages and hope for a good season, not just for winter skiing, but for summer farming, ranching and recreating. But it's important to not just consider the quantity of water we get, but also the quality.
Last summer, while swimming in the Big Wood, I started to wonder how safe it really is for all of us, especially children, who spend countless hours in the water during the summer. Our wastewater treatment plants drain into the river. Storm water that washes over the streets through town ends up in the river.
After gutting water-quality protections and testing for the last two years, thankfully the governor responded to public outcry and recommended funding water-quality monitoring this year. While the DEQ received funding for this year, the public needs to stay involved by making sure our legislators know how important clean water is for the health and safety of our communities. Please take a moment to send a message to our leaders thanking them for this year's funding but letting them know that funding needs to be permanent in the future. Go to http://legislature.idaho.gov to contact our legislators.