The importance of sharing water

The importance of sharing water

♪ [music] ♪ – [Craig] Water is part of our
everyday life in Central Oregon. Hey, thanks. In fact, we all rely on water
for the food we eat, for our wildlife, for our local
economy, and our electricity. Across the country and around the world,
water is one of the most important resources that we have. But with so many
people, animals, businesses, cities, habitats all relying on this
precious resource, when one group doesn’t use it responsibly that could
lead to big problems for everyone. But hey, this is Oregon. Always
raining, plenty of water, right? Oh, right. This is Central Oregon.
The high desert, and deserts are, well, dry which makes our water supply
even more important to use responsibly. So who’s using water here in Central
Oregon? And what are we doing to make sure there’s enough water for everyone,
including you and me? We all rely on farmers for our food,
and farmers rely on water. Water for irrigation is managed by dams.
So it can be stored when it’s not needed, then released when farming season is
underway. It’s released from the river to irrigation canals, and then right to the
farm and their irrigation systems. It may sound simple, but it’s not.
Hey, hey, wait up. – [Kevin] Without irrigation you can’t
grow much Central Oregon. It’s just too dry of a climate, but with
the irrigation, agriculture can be a really productive lifestyle. Water is our most valuable resource
on the farm without question, and so we minimize any sort of waste and
conserve water in any way we can. On our farm, all of our carrots are drip
irrigated, which saves us about 50% of water compared to overhead
sprinklers or overhead pivots. – And he can control and monitor that
irrigation from his computer or even his cell phone. That’s pretty cool. Farmers
have to figure out just how much water they need while still leaving enough water
in the river for all the other users. Tourism is the single largest industry in
Central Oregon. So it’s no secret that a lot of folks come here to play. – [Ted] Thousands of jobs in Central
Oregon are created because visitors come here to play on our water. Tourism brings
in over $1 billion for an economy. – A billion dollars? – And so we need enough water flowing to
make sure everyone can kayak, raft, stay on a paddle board, golf, and
fish. It’s important to have enough water flow for folks to be able to do all the
things that they love to do when they come to Central Oregon. We also have to make
sure that when we use the water for recreation, we have to take care of it. – Take care of the river? – We need to keep the trash out of the
river because it takes a lot more than river flow to keep our river healthy. – [Doctor] I’m afraid it’s
not looking good. You are experiencing
anhydration, exsiccation… – Wait, how? What does that mean? – Oh, it means that you’re dehydrated. – Oh, okay. Okay, so I’m not actually sick, but
did you know that just like people, rivers can be really sick or
even be considered dead. Just like your doctor monitors
your health, there are all sorts of scientists who keep an eye on our rivers. – [Jen] Well, rivers carry water and life
to the ecosystem because all organisms depend on water for life. So it’s very
similar to the veins and the arteries in the body which are carrying blood to
organs in the body keeping it alive. – [Jason] The water is the fundamental
building block of life on our landscape. It’s what all ecosystems need,
it’s what all people need. – So just add water? Oh. – It’s not quite that easy. That’s a good
start, but there’s other things as well. Just by looking to see if the pieces of
the ecosystem are there. Are the bugs there? Are the
fish there? Are the birds there? Are the amphibians there? And when we
see all the pieces of the ecosystem there, we know we’re making progress. – But before the scientists, the kayakers,
the farming irrigation systems, and definitely before middle school even
existed, it was local tribal members who used the water and kept it healthy. – [Wilson] In the Warm Springs language,
they say [foreign language], “the water is sacred,” and that’s the way
it is to all the tribes around the world. As people that share this Earth, it’s our
responsibility as stewards of this land to take care of our finite resources. – Water isn’t just part of their culture.
It’s also part of their everyday life. – We have many different kind of roots
that we still gather. We have a lot of berries that we gather that come from the
land. We also have a pantry of medicines, medicinal knowledge that we’ve never
forgotten, that come from the land, and we wouldn’t have those things if
wasn’t for the water. – So there you have it. We all rely on
water and have to use it responsibly for our whole system to work. And if one
person doesn’t use it responsibly, well, that can lead to
big problems for everyone. Oh shoot, I forgot someone. – [Patrick] I’m Patrick Griffiths.
I’m the water resources manager for the city of Bend. That’s a mouthful. Municipality employees like Patrick
have to get the waters from the rivers to thousands of homes, businesses,
and buildings here in Central Oregon, and it’s up to us to use
that water responsibly. – [Together] Hey! – The largest use of water in a typical
residential home is outdoor water for landscapes. A typical lawn needs
30 inches of rain every year, and the transformation of your old water-
hog landscapes to more native landscapes use less water and less maintenance. – But don’t stop there. We can make
changes inside our homes as well. An old toilet can use up to six gallons of
water per flush, six gallons. And showers use two gallons of water per
minute, which means every second counts. – [Woman] Hey! – So there you have it. Here in Central
Oregon there’s a lot of people and wildlife that rely on water and we all
play important roles in using our water responsibly so our river
system stays healthy. So what can you do?

2 thoughts on “The importance of sharing water”

  • Jordan Anderson says:

    About Ranger Gritzner, the ranger at 4:49: Isn't he out of uniform code? His nameplate should be over the left pocket, and he should should have a badge over his right pocket.

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