Retaining water on the land is one of the most important things we can do to improve the health of the Earth. Good quality soil and native and other environmentally friendly plants are essential to pull water into underground water supplies, filtering it along the way.
Here is the low down:
We are losing topsoil at unprecedented rates, faster than soil can be replenished.
Streams, rivers, and lakes are at increased risk of flooding, and they're very dirty.
Land dries out more quickly due to less moisture held in the soil.
Contamination from fertilizers and pesticides is intensified.
Fish and other water life is at increased risk of sickness and death.
Underground water supplies don't feed streams. Some have dried up completely.
"As a result of erosion over the past 40 years, 30 percent of the world's arable land has become unproductive." FEW Resources
Where will we grow food if our soil quality is poor?
Where will we get clean water if we aren't replenishing our supplies?
We can rethink our landscapes to include water retention methods. Green roofs, swales, rain gardens (a.k.a. bioretention gardens), natural landscapes, and rain barrels are some options. UNL Water and Omaha Stormwater are great resources to learn more about how to keep precious drops where we need them most.