Today is World Water Day, a day when we all take time to appreciate water, consider our own water practices, and make a concerted effort to improve quality and access to this vital resource. We find ourselves amid a global water crisis which demands a global response. It is easy to fall into the belief that individual efforts will not make a difference in the grander scheme of things; a drop in the bucket so to speak. But this notion is false. Every drop counts.
Through its natural cycle, water is not lost but rather relocated. It travels miles from its starting location and falls back to earth when it rains. This means what happens to water in your area influences water elsewhere. We all have some responsibility as global citizens to do what we can, even if it is one drop at a time.
When it rains in urban environments, water has little opportunity to absorb into the earth. Instead, it runs off rooftops and down buildings. It runs through streets and alleys, taking with it pollutants. Here in Baltimore, it eventually ends up in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, contributing to nitrogen pollution.
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Nature for Water” exploring how we can reduce floods, droughts, and water pollution by utilizing solutions that already exist in nature. At Furbish, “Nature for Water” is a core value guiding all that we do. We are proud to provide living systems that contribute to stormwater management in our region of the world.
The average rainfall in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region is 41 inches per year. We have installed and maintained 7,634,701 square feet of green roof in this region since 2003. As such, our green roofs are accountable for retaining 160,415,542 gallons of rainfall over that same time period. This same amount of water is equivalent to 9.4 million showers in the U.S. We recognize the efficiency of natural systems and utilize this efficiency to reduce the stormwater that runs off into our surrounding waterways. The more we work to integrate these natural systems into our urban environments, the greater our impact will be on our regional water and, by extension, the global water crisis.
More information on World Water Day 2018 and a few of the many organizations working to make a difference: