Conserving Water

Take Action

Child fills up water bottle
Water bottle fill up stations at Grand Canyon National Park provide visitors with fresh spring water.

NPS Photo

Preserving Quantity

To help conserve the amount of water in National Parks, especially in water scarce parks:

  1. Turn off the tap, when brushing teeth, in between water bottle fill ups, and washing dishes.

  2. Take shorter showers! Or when not rinsing, turn off the water. By not letting water run continuously, you will help to reduce the amount of water you use.

  3. When doing dishes in your cabin or campsite, use a separate rinse tub beside your wash sink/tub. Then reuse the rinse water (from the tub) as the soapy wash water for your next round of dishwashing.

  4. Water your lawn less, or if necessary water in the early morning. Watering in the heat of the day, can cause more water to evaporate.

Gril canoes into a cave. Lake green with algae bloom.
An algal bloom at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, is the result of poor water quality.

NPS Photo

Preserving Quality

To help protect the quality of water in National Parks:

1. Pick up pet waste near water sources.
Feces contain unhealthy bacteria. Picking up pet waste will help to remove potential pathogens from potential drinking water sources.

2. Keep trash off the street and out of water ways.
Waste like plastic, electronics, and batteries can pollute and alter the quality of water. By keeping your trash out of water ways, you are helping to keep rivers, lakes, and oceans in National Parks clean.

3. Reduce Fertilizer use.
Fertilizer contributes to excess nutrients in water bodies, which can lead to things like algal blooms. Reducing fertilizer use can reduce the potential for algal blooms.

4. Wear mineral sunscreen.
Some sunscreens can alter the quality of water and can have a negative effect on coral reef communities. By switching to a mineral based sunscreen, you are helping to reduce the chemicals that can harm ocean life!

5. If you change your oil in your driveway, collect the oil instead of pouring it on the ground.
Contaminants like oil can make way to our waterways. Dispose of it, instead of leaving it out.

6. Don’t dispose of medications by washing them down the sink or flushing.
Pharmaceuticals may reach waterways when flushing; throw medications in the trash instead.

Learn More

When you visit parks with water resources, learn about the ways water affects these ecosystems.

  • Ask how more or less water could change these ecosystems.
  • Learn about the types of species that depend on the water at these parks.
  • And finally, explore and appreciate how water shapes our national parks. Swim, boat, float, and fish in park waters to appreciate how vital water is to us all.
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