RBC Blue Water Project

Posted on Tuesday June 25, 2013 at 12:23PM

The RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year, global commitment to help protect the world's most precious natural resource--fresh water. In 2013-2014, the RBC Blue Water Project will focus on supporting initiatives such as improved manaement of storm and rain water systems, protection and restoration of urbn waterways and improved water quality, to help protect and preserve water in towns, cities and urbanized areas.

TIPS FOR YOUR BLUE WATER COMMUNITY MAKEOVER

Have you ever wondered where all the water goes when it rains, or after the snow melts? Some of it seeps into the ground or evaporates, but after a storm, most water runs over the land, racing across paved surfaces and down storm drains. Along the way, it picks up litter, sand bacteria, oil and other chemicals, and carries these pollutants right into our streams, ponds, rivers, lakes and wetlands. That's not good for anyone.

No matter where you live, you can help protect your local water sources by doing a "Blue WaterMakeover." Here's how:

Blue your house and yard:

  • Disconnect your downspot
  • Use a rainbarrel to collect water for gardens
  • Construct a rain garden
  • Install permeable paving on your driveway or make paved areas as small as possible
  • Plant trees or a garden--select native, non-invasive plants. Their deep roots will help reduce rainwater runoff
  • Undertake a green home audit to identify ways you can reduce water and energy use

"Blue" your apartment:

  • Grow a balcony garden for food and color
  • Start a community garden
  • Plant trees to cool and clean the air and reduce stormwater runoff
  • Encourage your building manager to install permeable paving on driveways and parking lots
  • Construct a green roof where possible
  • Use low flow toilets, shower heads and taps to reduce water use and save energy
  • Pick up litter in your neighborhood

"Blue" your street and driveway:

  • Plant native, urban-environment-tolerant trees to shade and reduce the "urban heat island effect"
  • Make paved areas as small as possible
  • Replace asphalt driveways and parking lots with permeable paving
  • Use less road salt or no salt to protect our creeks and lakes
  • Pick up litter

"Blue" your school:

  • Reduce paved areas to promote infiltration
  • Install permeable paving on driveways and parking lots
  • Plant native trees and shrubs to create shade and runoff
  • Start a native wildflower community garden featuring spring and and fall blooms
  • Collaborate with nearby schools to initiate community greening projects
  • Construct a green roof where possible

The application deadline for 2014 grants will be announced in late 2013.

Author: Town of Oxbow

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