Know Your H2O
Know Your H2O (KYH2O) is a Surfrider Foundation program designed to educate people on the link between freshwater management issues and the impact on our oceans, waves, and beaches. We advocate for practical and environmentally sound solutions.
Do you know where your water comes from? In many places, water travels hundreds of miles through canals and pipelines before reaching your home. Due to persistent drought, growing population and legislation, less water will be delivered from these sources in the future.
Many rivers near the coast have been paved over, and nearly all storm drain pipes empty into our oceans. This dumps animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and pollution from our cars and roads, plastics and anything else in our watershed into the ocean.
Through conservation, using climate-appropriate plants, implementing Low Impact Development, capturing and reusing "waste" water, and Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR), we can reduce water pollution in the ocean AND improve our drinking water supply.
• It’s all about pollution prevention. KYH2O is a proactive campaign designed to prevent pollution from reaching the surf.
• Raise awareness about the connection between the different aspects of water management, and how the effective and integrated management of those aspects can protect our oceans, waves and beaches.
• Provide Surfrider supporters tangible ways to advocate for Integrated Water Management.
1. Identify and define the problem
2. Share a common vision
3. Advocate for actionable solutions
The Cycle of Insanity - The Real Story of Water
How does a Chapter engage in KYH20?
With the your Chapter’s current water pollution campaigns or concerns in mind, examine the Integrated Water Management resources below and on Beachapedia, then determine how they might help make your current campaigns more successful or inspire you to start new campaigns.
(Optional) Form a KYH2O committee to engage on these issues. For helpful tips click here.
Select activities from this Know Your H2O menu:
Identify problems and find solutions. Where is your pollution coming from?
Pursue a "Sweep Don’t Hose" Ordinance
Conduct a Climate Change Guerilla Activism Day
Find a Water Footprint Calculator you like and possibly host a competition within your City to encourage water conservation.
- An Introduction to Water
- Integrated Water Management and the concept of One Water
- Low Impact Development (LID)
- Water Recycling
- Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG)
January 07 2015
After taking two years to come to a decision, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has just given approval to the City of Rehoboth Beach to apply for $25 million to build a new ocean outfall for sewage discharge. The Delaware Surfrider Chapter has been opposing this project for years and is now regrouping with other local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to plan their next move to prevent the outfall from being built and to instead advocate for water re-use and recycling options.
November 20 2014
The work of numerous activists with Surfrider's San Diego County Chapter over a period of many years paid off on November 18, 2014 when the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to approve Pure Water San Diego, a program which will significantly reduce wastewater discharges to the ocean and produce 83 million gallons per day (mgd) of high quality drinking water.
November 17 2014
Today's release of a report, which Surfrider contributed to, lists actions that state and federal agencies can take now and prepare for the future. It's right in line with Surfrider's Clean Water Initiative approach.
October 03 2014
Last year’s legislative season in California was a bust for the coast and ocean. In 2013, Surfrider worked on ten coastal and ocean protection bills, and only two bills were signed into law. Surprisingly, this year’s season was the opposite and very successful. Surfrider actively worked on more than a dozen bills and the Governor recently signed nine of those bills into law. Talk about a game-changer for the coast.
September 17 2014
Surfrider's Clean Water Initiative is a solution for wet and dry years - and for drier and wetter climates. It connects together our work to reduce water use, utilize rainwater as a resource, and recycle "wastewater."
July 09 2014
The Delaware Chapter was able to reach peak summer crowds this past holiday weekend. The News Journal ran a front page story on the proposed Rehoboth Beach ocean outfall. The Chapter is opposing the outfall and instead advocating for water recycling options over dumping the treated freshwater out to sea.
June 10 2014
A California state agency is launching 7 short films on how to prevent runoff from landscapes and hard surfaces. The objective is essentially Ocean Friendly Gardens!
June 02 2014
Hydromodification is the alteration of the natural flow of water through a landscape, and often takes the form of channel modification or channelization. It is one of the leading sources of impairment in streams, lakes, estuaries, aquifers, and other water bodies in the United States.
April 08 2014
Aveda salons and Experience Centers throughout So Cal are, again, raising money for Surfrider's Clean Water Program. They've raised $750,000 over the past 7 years!
March 21 2014
For the past two decades, the Ventura Chapter has been identifying problems and promoting solutions for clean water throughout the Ventura River watershed. Their proactive urban watershed program is helping to protect water supply and quality, coastal habitats and recreational opportunities by restoring ecosystem function throughout the watershed.
March 21 2014
The Delaware Chapter held a press conference on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk on March 20th, the first day of Spring, to protest a new ocean outfall pipe that the City is proposing to build. The Chapter wants the effluent to be cleaned up better and recycled for Land Based Applications.
March 20 2014
The drought throughout California, much of the Southwest and elsewhere in the United States has garnered a lot headlines and generated much concern. At the same time, there is a growing realization that we can address water supply problems AND reduce water pollution problems AND save money if we just begin to close the loop and create an urban water cycle instead of perpetuating the cycle of insanity.
November 15 2013
After nearly ten years of the Surfrider Foundation and local residents raising concerns about plans to build a seawater desalination facility in Huntington Beach, the Coastal Commission finally reviewed the project and sent it back for improvements.
September 20 2013
Desalination is often touted as the solution to our water woes. However, Surfrider begs to differ and suggests that desalination done in an environmentally responsible fashion should only be considered after water conservation and recycling have been exhausted. Check out this short clip from David Zetland of Wageningen University, as he expresses his concerns.
September 06 2013
Five Surfrider chapters from four Hawaiian islands gathered for their annual conference, and learned about Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Gardens Program. A pre-conference meeting with a sister non-profit, and a tour by them after the conference, showed partnership potential on one island. Now, several island chapters are kicking off an OFG program.
August 02 2013
Know Your H2O concepts are gaining traction in Los Angeles as people realize that all water, whether in the form of stormwater or wastewater, is WATER and must be managed efficiently. Check out this 5-minute film from the National Science Foundation and NBC Learn.
July 05 2013
From the earliest development of the western United States, the federal government, was in the business of diverting natural river flows and building dams. The arguably well-intentioned program of building dams has had significant adverse impacts on our coast and ocean. But there has been a mind-shift recently towards dam removal.
June 21 2013
We all learned the rule of "cause and affect" in school; as we look around today there are lots of examples of environmental catastrophes due to the mismanagement of our natural resources. A traditional Florida fishery on the verge of collapse is yet another example of why we need to pursue integrated water management.
May 17 2013
On May 8th, 2013 the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) unanimously approved a new regional MS4 permit implementing a watershed-based approach to stormwater management with an increased reliance on Low Impact Development (LID).
Rick Wilson email@example.com