August and September Water Events
During California’s hottest days of summer and into the early days of fall, our thoughts often turn to water for recreation and drinking. Various events during August and September will be celebrating this precious resource.
World Water Week, the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues, takes place Aug. 26-31 in Sweden. Participants from more than 100 countries will gather in Stockholm for this year’s program titled “Water, ecosystems and human development.” Themed to nature-based solutions for water challenges, it will feature a variety of sessions including “Innovative Financing to Protect Ecosystems and Promote Nature,” “Investing in Freshwater Ecosystems and Biodiversity: A Key Development Challenge,” and “Monitoring Water Quality Using EO: UNESCO World Water Quality Portal.”
World Water Week activities also involve bestowing the celebrated Stockholm Water Prize, the world’s most prominent award for outstanding achievements in water-related activities. OCWD and OCSD shared honors as they received the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize for pioneering work to develop the Groundwater Replenishment System.
International Coastal Cleanup Day is Sept. 15 and will feature events here in Orange County. Since the Cleanup formed in Texas more than 30 years ago, the local event to pick up ocean litter and record each item has grown to an international phenomenon involving volunteers from more than 100 countries. The documentation helps to identify trending pollution and its sources in a fight for trash-free seas.
Locally, Orange County Coastkeeper is taking reservations for volunteer opportunities in about 50 locations for both Coastal Cleanup Day and the 22nd Annual Inner-coastal & Watershed Clean-up Day, the latter of which the Orange County Water District is a sponsor. The Inner-coastal & Watershed Clean-up Day was established by the non-profit organization Trails4All, which saw the need to clean the area along the Santa Ana River inland, before debris could reach the coast, and did so in conjunction with Coastal Cleanup Day efforts. Be an influence on cleaning up our inner waterways and coastal waters and taking care of Orange County beaches.
Another water event, on Sept. 23, is World Rivers Day, which highlights the many values of rivers, called the “arteries” of a nation. It’s a celebration to increase public awareness and encourages the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.
The Santa Ana River is the largest river entirely in Southern California and one of the largest sources of water OCWD uses to fill the Orange County Groundwater Basin, which is managed by the Orange County Water District. It also hosts Southern California’s largest watershed—the surrounding area that benefits from the river. Created from snowmelt and natural springs, the river flows from the San Bernardino Mountains along a 75-mile journey, through San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties, to its final destination at the Pacific Ocean near Huntington Beach. It meanders through pristine and wild lands, and agricultural areas, to domesticated cities, and parks.
OCWD participates in several environmental programs to balance human and wildlife activity on the Santa Ana River. Through habitat restoration, wildlife management, public education, and the control of non-native species, OCWD ensures that our natural environment will be accessible to future generations.
You can do your part to participate in World Rivers Day by getting involved in events or sponsoring your own. All the information you’ll need to know can be found on the World Rivers Day website.