Ever wonder where the water comes from that you make your coffee with in the morning? If you live near campus (and unless you own your own well) it probably comes from the City of Columbus and one of its three drinking water reservoirs: Griggs, O’Shaughnessy, or Hoover. Did you know that there are over 900 private residences adjacent to the reservoirs, and some of the fertilizers they put on their lawns will likely end up in the reservoirs — and our drinking water supply?
Do not despair! What you may not know is that the city actually owns the land surrounding these reservoirs and it manages these riparian areas for the protection of your drinking water supply. The city accomplishes this through its Land Stewardship Program, which uses buffer strips of natural vegetation to filter pollutants before they reach the reservoirs. Unfortunately, many neighbors are not good stewards, or they’re simply unaware of the benefits of the program so participation remains relatively low.
Since Hoover reservoir provides over 60 percent of our water supply, our group of CFAES students propose the use of targeted educational programming and specific incentive programs to entice more of the neighbors adjacent to Hoover Reservoir to participate in this valuable natural resources protection program. If our proposal is implemented, participation in the stewardship program will increase, which will further reduce residential pollution from reaching our drinking water reservoirs.
Please visit Columbus’ Watershed Management Section website for more information about this topic: