What river are you drinking?
This blog is written by Elizabeth St. John, Social Media & Communications Fall 2022 Intern
Someone asked me the other day if I knew where I got my water, and to be honest, I had no idea. Like any other person, I consulted Google. I am going to make the assumption that you might not know where your water comes from either. So I took the liberty upon myself to find out for you!
Being from Seattle, I just assumed it came from the wonderful Mt. Rainier but it turns out it comes from the Cedar River, which I have spent plenty of time on as a kid and for field trips, as well as the Tolt. If you are also from Seattle, you know our water tastes the best.
Now that we have established where my hometown gets its drinking water from, let’s check out where other major cities across the United States get theirs.
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Going all the way to the east coast, New York City gets its water from the Delaware River basin.
A majority of metro Atalnta gets its water from the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers. Fun Fact: The Flint river originated directly under the largest and most trafficked airport in the USA, the Atlanta Airport.
The Colorado River, gives drinking water to 36 million people in 7 states from Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and all the way to Los Angeles. The Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon, which is currently at risk of running dry, meaning the Colorado River itself is at risk. For more information on this ever-changing and seemingly worsening river, read here.
The residents of our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., (where important decisions are being made right now about our nation’s rivers) get their drinking water from the Potomac River.
American Rivers’ River of the Year, the Neuse River, gives water to over 4 million people in North Carolina all the way from Durham, NC to Hoboken, NC where it enters the Pamlico Sound!
While there is usually no need to worry about the safety of your drinking water since it is regularly tested, some of the rivers people’s water comes from are heavily polluted and for some are at risk of worsening condidtions in the near future. Currently, millions of people in Jackson, Mississippi are without water after recent floods, for more information about this, CLICK HERE.
18 million people from Minneapolis to New Orleans rely on the Mississippi River to supply their water. While not only giving water to 18 million people, it is also vital to the United States in terms of transportation for barges to import and export crucial commodities such as soybeans and corn.
While many don’t have to worry about what comes out of their faucet, there are still millions without access to clean drinking water. Next time you are swimming or fishing in your local river, just keep in the front of your mind that it could possibly be providing water to millions of people.