A Green Grid for Clean Water?
If we can have a smart grid for energy, why not a green grid for clean water?
From ‘New York’s Green Grid’:
“Planners wrangled natural streams into (eventually) rusty pipe systems. The city dredged so many swamps and poured so much asphalt that the ground has become unable to handle heavy downpours. When it rains a lot … rainwater flows into the same pipes that carry sewage. When those pipes overflow, the combined liquid dumps into the rivers. That’s not how nature would manage things.”
We’ve destroyed our natural infrastructure, the small streams and wetlands that filter our water and provide drinking water for 117 million Americans. This has caused pollution, flooding and threatens public health.
So now, cities like New York are paying to protect the upstream creeks that are the source of their drinking water, saving over $10 billion in treatment costs, and integrating green roofs and green streets into their plan to reduce sewage overflows, saving another $2.4 billion. In other places, communities are paying to “daylight” streams, or take them out of their culverts as a way to provide additional flood control and restore a community asset that has too long been hidden.
Without a doubt, the future depends on going back to nature and restoring much of what we have lost through paving our forests, and filling and burying our streams. As the attacks on our clean water continue to hit fast and furious, it’s time to strengthen our clean water protections.