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.
- Integrated Water Management
- An Introduction to Water
- Low Impact Development (LID)
- Water Recycling
- Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG)
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).
April 26 2013
It’s a basic idea: When it rains, we need to be able to capture that water, store it and then use it later. Today, about half the water from rain that could be used to replenish groundwater basins and increase local water supplies ends up turning into polluted stormwater runoff.
April 12 2013
In an area where combined sewer system overflows are a leading contributor to water quality problems, the City of New York has turned to green infrastructure as a cost-effective solution to multiple problems.
April 08 2013
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is one of California’s most important laws—not only because it helps protect our environment and “quality of life”, but CEQA also promotes democratic participation in the decision-making process—giving citizens a say in what happens in their local communities. Unfortunately over the past few years, developers and polluting industries have been attempting to weaken CEQA through legislation. If special interests succeed in weakening CEQA, California’s natural resources could suffer from unchecked development, and the public will lose its ability to require developers to address environmental impacts.
March 29 2013
A combination of required replacement of outdated sewage treatment facilities, climate change adaptation (sea level rise), and integrated water management strategies may be evolving towards movement of sewage treatment facilities away from the coast, as well as water re-use and improved water quality discharge.
March 19 2013
Green infrastructure is a cost-effective and resilient approach to our water infrastructure needs that provides many community benefits. As of 2008, the total reported water infrastructure needs for the United States included $63.6 billion for combined sewer overflow control and $42.3 billion for stormwater management. Since only 22% of regulated MS4s are included in this estimate, the need for stormwater management is likely much greater. As communities develop and climate patterns shift, these needs can only be expected to grow. While single-purpose gray stormwater infrastructure is largely designed to move urban stormwater away from the built environment, green infrastructure reduces and treats stormwater at its source while delivering many other environmental, social, and economic benefits. These benefits not only promote urban livability, but also add to the bottom line. Source EPA: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_why.cfm#WaterQuality
March 12 2013
Surfrider advocates for holistic water supply management through the exhaustion of multi-benefit water supply solutions before implementation of more energy intensive options such as desalination. Many cities in California are beginning to realize desalination is not the answer!
November 21 2012
In what could be the first wave (first set?) of such projects in the United States, the cities of Brownwood and Big Spring in west Texas are constructing Direct Potable Reuse systems to turn wastewater into high quality drinking water,
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