"Point of Origin"

Water conservation is critical to life on earth. But as important as the conservation of water is, it is equally—if not more important—that the water we conserve is safe. The specter of climate change and an ever increasing population that needs water not only for the hydration of crops and livestock, but for thirsty people as well, makes this the 21st Century’s major challenge.

Regulation and sustainability are key when it comes to water. Pollution can come from many sources and some of them many not be immediately obvious. Of course we all remember the Deepwater Horizon oil spill—also known as the BP oil spill or the BP oil disaster—that began on April 20, 2010, the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. As you can imagine with an event of such notoriety, regulators were able to identify the point of origin and levy the appropriate fines and penalties.

But as dramatic as that spill and the subsequent cleanup efforts were, it is important to remember that pollution can come from many sources that don’t make the headlines. For instance, some such as fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides are harder to diagnose. They come from places such as farm land, golf courses and suburban lawns. It is important to remember that they helped to increase our food supply and enhance our environments. But over the years, we have come to know that they do cause pollution. Although the tributary network that feeds the Mississippi River is vast, there is absolute proof of pollution in the Delta dead zone. Additionally, algae blooms in lakes and rivers impact marine life affecting the fishing industry for both food and sport.

But there is good news on more than one front. The companies that are responsible for those fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides are beginning to promote sustainability initiatives. Although there is no standardized comprehensive definition for a sustainability initiative, there are three important features that distinguish a program as sustainable. They are the effective use of material and energy, a shift away from non-renewable, non-biodegradable materials, and the prevention of emissions and contaminants from having a negative environmental impact.

And farmer heroes, who are making a difference to improve America’s water resources as they provide America’s food supply, have adopted nutrient use management practices which minimize nutrient runoff from their operations. To read their individual stories, go to epa.gov/nutrientpollution/farmer-heroes-manage-nutrients-farm

For millennia, the Earth’s fresh water supply has washed across the landscapes of the world supplied by rainfall, snow and glacial melt, runoff and infiltration. If telling the story of how you are working to improve the quality of that water supply for the hydration of crops and livestock, as well as for thirsty people is important to you and your business or organization, the Barton Marketing Group which specializes in life sciences and agriculture can help get your message to the audiences who need to hear it.