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E VERY

Drop C O U N T S

BY S A R A H DE V RIE S

E N V IR ONM E N TA L A N A LY S T I

W

ow it sure is hot outside! Well, maybe not yet but summer is

right around the corner and so are the high temperatures we experience each year. On hot summer days you might relax

with a glass of ice cold lemonade, watch your kids play in the sprinkler or splash around in the neighborhood pool. We often forget these experiences are water luxuries and water conservation is a forgotten necessity.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department promotes

water conservation and recharge as part of its stormwater training and educational outreach program. This program includes such things as

preservation of green space when constructing new facilities, the use of

vegetative buffers in maintenance yards to control and capture stormwater run-off, as well as protecting vegetated areas along our construction zones. The vegetative buffers provide an all-natural way to capture and treat

stormwater runoff and slow the flow of pollutants from our construction

sites and roadways throughout the State. These buffer zones assist our State

with stormwater control, preserve wildlife habitat, assist with groundwater

recharge, and can provide noise control as well. These things are made possible because of dedicated employees applying their skills and knowledge.

There are approximately 3,600 AHTD employees and each one of us impacts

our State outside of the workplace. Individually we use an average of 178

gallons of water or more each day.* We can reduce this amount by 40 gallons by changing behaviors around our homes and businesses. If we did this, 144,000 gallons of water would be saved in one day equaling over 52 million gallons per year. This water conservation effort is better known as the “40-Gallon Challenge� which was promoted in 2012 by the University of Arkansas

Cooperative Extension Service. If all Arkansas residents (Census 2012 estimate 2,949,131) reduced their water consumption by 40 gallons each day, then

roughly 43 billion gallons of water each year would be available for other uses.*

Arkansas Highways Magazine - May 2013  
Arkansas Highways Magazine - May 2013