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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Protect water resources [Editorial]

People pretty much take for granted the fact that when they turn on the faucet in their homes the water that comes from the tap will be safe, but maintaining high standards for quality is something that demands ongoing attention.

Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

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"It's easy to forget the value of drinking water in our daily lives and to assume that it will always be there when we turn on the faucet, but water is a finite resource and we cannot afford to be complacent. We must all work together to protect and conserve our groundwater, streams, rivers and reservoirs so that future generations have access to the same high-quality drinking water that we enjoy today," Robert M. Summers, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment said in a press release.

The MDE noted that more than 5 million Marylanders, or more than 80 percent of the state's population, receive water from a public water system that is inspected, monitored and regulated by MDE. They are served daily by more than 3,400 public drinking water systems ranging in size from a drinking fountain at a roadside rest area to large metropolitan drinking water systems.

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Maintaining safe drinking water has evolved over the past 40 years. The MDE noted that the number of contaminants for which a health-based standard has been established has grown from 18 to more than 90.

Residents in the state use about 1.4 billion gallons of fresh water every day. The MDE estimates that demand will increase by 230 million gallons per day by 2030. The biggest water users are public water systems, power plants and agricultural users.

To help protect and conserve our water, the MDE reminds residents of some simple things they can do around the house, such as fixing leaks, installing low-flow shower heads, running the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads and being careful about the application of fertilizer on lawns.

Water is one of those basic necessities that we expect will always be available. While much of the responsibility for monitoring, inspection and maintenance of water resources falls to government, we all play a part in preserving and protecting this essential resource.


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