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The State of Your Water Supply

Sometimes it seems our government isn’t doing a whole lot for us little guys. Like now, for instance. Billions are being doled out to Suits whose companies’ problems probably stem from CEOs being overpaid in the first place.

Crazy fiscal policies aside, there are many things the government does right (as I’ve pointed out in the past) but often don’t get as much recognition. A shame since many of these things can be really helpful – take the U.S. Geological Survey’s reports on drinking-water contaminants.

As the USGS puts it, “In 2002, the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program implemented Source Water-Quality Assessments (SWQAs) to characterize the quality of selected rivers and aquifers used as a source of supply to community water systems in the United States.”

As part of this program, the USGS will release a series of reports, starting Dec. 5, to document about 280 substances in the drinking water supply for nine U.S. water systems, including the Washington, D.C., area; western Massachusetts; east-central North Carolina; west-central Georgia; south-central Indiana; northeastern Texas; north-central Colorado; west-central Nevada; and northwestern Oregon.

If you’re like me, you almost never think about your water supply and it’s quite a wake-up call just to read the list of things in there: disinfection by-products; fumigant-related compounds; fungicides; gasoline hydrocarbons, oxygenates and oxygenate degradates; herbicides and herbicide degradates; insecticides and insecticide degradates; manufacturing additives; organic synthesis compounds; pavement- and combustion-derived compounds; personal-care and domestic-use products; plant- or animal-derived biochemicals; refrigerants and propellants; solvents.

So next time you’re tempted to complain about D.C.’s bureaucracy, dip into the NAWQA findings and see how good government can really be.

Just don’t hold your breath waiting for something to actually be done about those findings.

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“The State of Your Water Supply”